Amelia’s Magazine | T-post: the world’s first wearable magazine

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims
After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, click it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, order the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, buy it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, information pills it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, malady the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.
Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, visit it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, pharmacy the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Quidams by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.

T-post is the world’s first wearable magazine. Nope, it isn’t a Vogue-September-Issue-style glossy mag that has been fashioned into a Stephen-Jones-style millinery creation, story but a t-shirt that poses as a magazine. It’s the brainchild of Sweden-based Peter Lundgren, pilule and produced using an army of writers and illustrators. The concept is pretty simple – a current or topical news story is printed on the inside, and an artist or illustrator interprets the story on the outside. Previous topics have included immigration, the Nobel prize and Mickey Mouse, amongst many other things, and artists contribute from all over the world. Subscribers receive a new t-shirt every five weeks, with T-post producing its 57th issue very soon!

I had a chat with founder and editor-in-chief Peter Lundgren to find out more about T-post…

What’s the thinking behind T-post?
It all started with the idea of trying to re-wire the structures of news communication. We started concepting ways to engage people in important topics, and our favourite garment, the T-shirt, seemed like an ideal media for doing so. T-shirts inspire conversation, and when you add a story behind them, you get people thinking. By combining a news magazine subscription with a T-shirt we’re able to utilise the attention and commitment accustom to the ‘fashion world’ while communicating interesting news topics. And by putting the written story on the inside of the Tee just for the subscriber to read, the subscriber is really the one communicating the story and getting it to spread outside the T-post circle.

Since the article is not usually available while wearing the T-shirt, it really becomes their personal interpretation of the story, which is even more interesting to hear about, I think!

How did it all begin?
The idea was born back in 2004 in an advertising agency I co-owned at the time. During that year it was just a fun project that we did in between other clients. I always saw great potential in the project, but realised that I needed to focus on it 100% to get it to take off. In the beginning of 2006 I handed over the agency to my partner, so I was able to give T-post the chance it deserved. My goal was to not take on any investors along the way, even though I had lots of offers, which left me with six months to get the number of subscribers from 300 to a 1000 to still have a job.

After about two months we got a centrefold article in one of the biggest news papers in The Netherlands. After that T-post got its own life in newspapers and on the internet.

Describe T-post in 3 words.
I can do it in two: “Conversation piece”.

Where do the ideas for each ‘issue’ come from?
It can be a reflection on several news stories which have a connection or just a single interesting story that we’ve picked up in a newspaper.

How do you source and network with illustrators and contributors?
We’ve been very lucky. We always have a lot of illustrators contacting us wanting to interpret one of our stories, so we keep a constantly growing library of who we think have the most unique and interesting look.

And when it’s time to match a story with an illustrator we chose the one who we think have the most suitable look for our written story.

Can anybody contribute?
Absolutely. Just send us some examples of what you’ve done in the past and we’ll consider you for a upcoming issue.

Is it difficult running a business and maintaining creativity?
This is what I’ve always loved to do so I automatically pick up stuff which I think is interesting and could make a good issue. You have to surround yourself with talented people who can bring the best out of you and the brand. I always bring a bunch of ideas to the table some of them are good but most of them are really shitty. So it’s important to have people around you which you can try your ideas on.

How are the t-shirts produced? Are the actual t-shirts ethical?
We use American Apparel T-shirts so we’re really comfortable with them being produced ethically.

What are your thoughts on advertising?
Nobody likes advertising, yet everyone pays for it in the purchase-price of a product. Not with T-post. T-post began as an underground phenomenon amongst friends and we have grown honestly and organically. We’d like to keep it that way. 

We don’t create advertising. We create dialog. We listen. We don’t believe in corporations telling people what to believe. Instead, we only believe in our family of subscribers. Our fans do the only kind of advertising we like: word-of-mouth.

Your ethos is that T-post only produces the amount of t-shirts necessary to correspond with subscriber figures, to avoid any waste. Are environmental issues important to you, and your magazine?
We just try to do what we can with the recourses we have. Which all companies should. It’s important not to use more than what is absolutely necessary for your business to work.

The first issue of T-post had a run of 5 copies – how many subscribers do you have now? Do subscriber numbers multiply on a monthly basis?
Today we have about 2,500 subscribers in over 50 countries. And it’s about 150 new subscribers signing on each month.

How will T-post develop? What does the future hold?
Right now our only goal is to make as interesting issues as we can. We’re trying to expand what we can deliver in each issue to make our message as clear as possible. One example is our Augmented Reality Issue:

Who would you like to seeing wearing an issue of T-post?
I would love to see Andy Warhol wear one, but since that’s not so likely the next best thing would be to see Jon Stewart wear one on the Daily Show!

To subscribe, visit the T-post website!
To contact Peter and the team about contributing, see the contacts page.

Categories ,American Apparel, ,Andy Warhol, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Jon Stewart, ,magazine, ,Netherlands, ,News, ,Peter Lundgren, ,T-post, ,T-shirts, ,The Daily Show

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Amelia’s Magazine | Two Magpies Find: Fragments Exhibition

Most bands have a shelf life, purchase especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead when you’re starting out, it can also set you en route to Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

The Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, web especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead when you’re starting out, it can also set you en route to Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, healing especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, drugs it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, medical especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, cialis 40mg it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, sildenafil burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, doctor especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, sildenafil especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, this site it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to fend themselves of this curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004 to critical acclaim. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to the new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Most bands have a shelf life, link especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to beat the curse. They have gone from strength to strength following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth album, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis who worked on their first album.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowley (R) before they take the stage at their sold out London gig to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to your new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has changed over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Sweden is a small country but it has produced some big exports. Whether it’s infectious pop, ailment affordable furniture or fashionable, well-priced clothes (take a stab at guessing the brands!), the Swedes know what it takes to satisfy their consumers. Now if we extend these categories to ‘hip young musicians’, you’ll find that they have their bases covered here too.

We first featured Lykke Li back in February 2008 when she was just an emerging artist, relatively fresh to the gig circuit. Since then, she has well and truly established a name for herself amongst the underground and commercial elite of the music scene, building up a set of credentials to leave most of her peers looking on with green-eyed envy.

She released her debut album ‘Youth Novels‘ to critical acclaim in 2008 and has since performed with The Roots and hip hop legend Q-Tip, collaborated with Kayne West and MIA, and currently features on a track called ‘Miss It So Much’ on Roysopp’s latest album. As if that weren’t enough, she also penned the track ‘Possibility’ for the second installment of lovey-dovey vampire Twilight saga ‘New Moon’, gaining herself a healthy teen following in the process.

On the award front, Lykke’s musical talent and fashion sense have not gone unnoticed; she has received nominations for “Best Video” and “Best Female Artist” at the Swedish Grammy Awards and was voted “Best Dressed Woman” at the Swedish Elle Magazine Awards in 2009. Is there an end to this list of fabulousness?? (And she’s only 24!)

Dressed in an oversized black tassled jacket, a short black mini-skirt, bulky black boots and lashings of thick black eye make-up (and with few words), on meeting Lykke, I couldn’t help but feel that she exuded the demeanor of a slightly irked teenager.

I caught up with the Swedish starlet briefly, prior to her set at the Volvo Subject 60 launch party in London last week, for a rather intriguing interview in a drafty stairwell to talk about her international background, performing in front of big crowds and desert island necessities…

So how are you feeling about your set tonight?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to do some new songs tonight which I haven’t done before. The sets are also going to be more acoustic so it will be different and quite interesting.

You’ve had a very international upbringing – have you found that this has influenced your music?

I don’t know because I’ve never known any different. I don’t know how I would write music if I only lived in one place. I feel that my music comes more from within – not so much from the outside.

Who are your biggest musical influences to date?
There are just so many. I don’t really listen to a lot of new music. I get really inspired by weird chanting, like Voodoo music. I recently found these field recordings from the 1920s which I’ve been listening to a lot.

What bands currently excite you?
I really enjoy Beach House – the singer has a great voice and their songs are very well written. I am also listening to The Big Pink and a lot too who have an interesting sound. Of course, there’s always Leonard Cohen.

How have you found the transition of playing in big venues compared to small venues?
It’s been fine although I still enjoy playing small venues the most because there’s more of an intimacy you share with your audience.

How do you find playing in front of a UK audience in comparison to a Swedish audience?
It’s kind of crazy because I almost never play in Sweden; it’s so rare. I guess every audience is different but I find that in big cities, people tend to be slightly more reserved – there’s more of an effort that people make to be cool.

What has been your most memorable gig to date?
Last summer there was a festival on an island just outside Holland so we had to take the smallest boat to get there, but it was during severe storms and the water was really rough. Everyone on the boat thought that we were going to die. And then there was the coming back part when we were super drunk in the middle of the night. It was crazy but we had a great time.

Who would you most like to work with?
Leonard Cohen as always.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer someone starting out?
It’s hard to maintain yourself in this industry. I think the main thing I would say is to be honest and always stay true to yourself. It’s clichéd but it’s true.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I’m looking forward to going for a swim in the lakes in Sweden when it’s finished. It’s going to be a long summer for me as I’ll going to be in the studio for most of it. It’s exciting but I can’t sleep anymore because I’m thinking so much – my brain is working all the time.

What three items would you bring with you if you on a desert island?
A hot man, a Swiss army knife and some erotic novels by Anaïs Nin.

I always look forward to the Northumbria University BA fashion degree show for two reasons. One, shop because it’s always effing good – the innovation, pills technique and creativity on display is second to pretty much nobody at Graduate Fashion Week. Secondly, viagra dosage I studied at the university, so this review might seem like a big fat plate of bias – I assure you, though, that it isn’t.

Nestled on the front row in between Style Savage Steve and the ever wonderful Hilary Alexander (who bopped, sketched and scribbled her way through the show) I was a little concerned that my big lens (said the actress to the bishop) might block the view of either of these fashion journalists. Neither said anything though, so I think I got away with it.

Opening the show with an explosion of glam-rock-meets-Elvis-meets-Lady-Gaga, Naomi New presented a very polished micro-collection featuring exaggerated shoulders of leather, spikes and studs, and horse-hair tails. Models strutted back and forth with real sex appeal and the quality of Naomi’s craftsmanship looked, from what I could see, incredible.

The key theme in this year’s show was digital prints, and it’s a testament to the late, great Alexander McQueen’s legacy that this is such a mainstay on graduate catwalks. Faye Chamberlain’s was the most striking of collections, owing to its wild neon prints reminiscent of MIA’s Kala album cover, and blingy embellishment. Short, short dresses with spikey hips challenged the traditional constraints of the female form.

Further print patrons included the work of Sophie Dee and Ludmila Maida. Sophie Dee presented a feminine, playful collection of vibrant prints, micro shorts and bubble skirts, accessorised with childlike objects such as candy floss and helium balloons, harping back to the glory days of the seaside. Ludmila Maida’s collection was a slightly more mature one, with elegant maxi dresses in neon, gathered into sections to create flattering asymmetrical shapes.

Gemma Williamson also hopped on the print train, with her slightly eery collection making use of religious iconography.


Illustration by Gemma Williamson from her graduate work

Menswear was, as always, well represented; one of the few menswear graduates to win the prestigious Gold Award in recent years was a Northumbria student. Sara Wilson set the standard with a mixture of soft tailoring and Japanese influence – loose fitting blazers were teamed with skinny trousers and shorts, while snood-like pieces of material attempted to cover the face, giving each outfit a martial-art feel.

Louise Dickinson’s inspired outfits seemed to draw influence from historical Britain and tradition in general. An oversized Barbour-style jacket here and a triangular-shaped cape printed with a vintage map there made for a intriguing and genuinely unique collection.

But it was Caroline Rowland’s eccentric tailoring that captured my imagination the most. A bit Sebastian Flyte, a bit Dries Van Noten, it was the perfect mix of traditional tailoring and quirky design flair. Ill-fitting gingham shirts (I presume on purpose) were teamed with tucked-in waistcoats and patterned bow ties, while cropped blazers looked great with high-waisted tailored trousers. You can never go wrong with a sock suspender either.

And now for a quick round of some of my favourite womesnwear collections. It’ll have to be a whistle-stop tour because I have 3 other shows to write up and I’m having my hair cut in an hour.

One of my absolute faves was Julie Perry, who combined body-concious all-in-ones with Meccano-style leather creations. These outfits had real sex appeal – not one for the supermarket but definitely for the fierce fashionista who isn’t afraid to show off. Julie’s pieces were architectural in shape and hinted at a little bit of kink.


Illustration by Julie Perry from her graduate work

Holly Farrar’s super sleek collection toyed with masculine tailoring and models had structured shoulders with outfits tapering downwards. Defined v-necklines gave the outfits an overall geometric look and were very sophisticated indeed.


Illustration by Holly Farrar from her graduate work

These gemoetric-slash-linear-slash-structured themes ran through many a collection, executed most effectively by Stephanie Price. Her futuristic collection married materials with aesthetic appeal with flattering shapes – mesh covered body-concious shift dresses had a dazzling effect, as did this dynamic jacket…


Illustrations by Stephanie Price, from her graduate work

Closing the show was Victoria Kirby, who had clearly been selected for her fresh innovation and coutourier-like craftsmanship. Elegant floor sweepers made from silk and velour had the appearance of two dresses in one, cut and merged down the middle. Exaggerating the shoulders and synching in at the waist created beautiful feminine shapes that flattered.


Illustration by Victoria Kirby, from her graduate work

All photography by Matt Bramford

Photograph by Vanya Sacha

Prior to the General Election, about it Amelia’s Magazine interviewed Amisha Ghadiali about her new project Think Act Vote. As the dust settles on the birth of the coalition, this site Amelia’s Magazine caught up with Amisha to find out about the Think Act Vote Poetry competition, how to be involved with the The Future I Choose Anthology (deadline the end of September, what are you waiting for?) and to find out where Think Act Vote will be for the remaining days of summer. (Hint! 13th – 15th August finds Think Act Vote at Vintage at Goodwood, for more details read the interview!)

How did Think Act Vote spend the election night?

The night before we had our amazing Think Act Vote party at The City and Arts Music Project, where we revealed the winner of our poetry competition, with live music from the Delirium Tremens and did a Think Act Vote Photobooth.

On election day, I cast my vote and then had to pack and head to the airport. My brother was graduating from film school at NYU Tisch Asia on the Friday in Singapore so I had to choose between watching the results live or being at the graduation.

I really wanted to go to the election party at the Hub Kings Cross hosted by NEF and Future Gov, and also the Billbored party. They looked really fun. There was no live coverage on the plane!

Showpiece by Beautiful Soul for Think Act Vote: Photograph by Dominic Clarke

What was your desired General Election outcome?

I can’t say I had one that was possible. I was hoping there would be a more inspirational leader in the race. But under the circumstances, I was hoping for a coalition.

Why were you hoping “under the circumstances’ for a coalition?

I don’t know; there wasn’t an ideal choice there for me. I just want a progressive government. I think the real issue is our system. We need parliamentary reform, this should have happened before this election, but hopefully it has shown Westminster that the current system doesn’t work.

I would like to see a system that allows more independent candidates to get into parliament. There is an argument that this will allow too many people from the far right to get into power, but actually we proved in this election that good old fashioned campaigning can keep the far right at bay.

I think it would be exciting for our country if we had more independents, as I think there are a lot of interesting individuals out there that would be interested in standing for parliament but don’t want to join a particular party.

Campaigns Group at Time for Tea. Photograph by Vanya Sacha

As the hung parliament reality dawned, whilst you were in America. Were you able to follow the developments in the Lib-Lab and Lib-Con talks?

It was strange. I wasn’t watching the TV news, so was seeing it all from the internet. I would have liked to experience it here and to have taken in the atmosphere.

From far away it seemed like utter madness, in any project, you plan for different circumstances. So I did find it strange that the Lib Dems hadn’t already decided what they wanted to do if this situation occurred.

What did you think to the press coverage during the General Election Aftermath (I found the ‘squatting’ headlines referring to Gordon Brown particularly unhelpful)?

Again from a distance, it did seem like a country in chaos. That nobody had a clue what to do. But yes I agree referring the Prime Minister as squatting is never going to be helpful!

Photograph by Deepti V. Patel

What were your initial thoughts on the Con-Lib Government?

Surprise, that the Lib Dems had chosen for the country to have a Tory Prime Minister. I would have thought that this would be the last thing they would ever want to happen. But I thought it was interesting that things would have to be passed through such differing views.

As the reality of the cuts loom, have your opinions changed towards the effectiveness of the Coalition Relationship?

I think it is a bit confusing, I don’t feel like Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems have shone through in any way. It does feel more like a Conservative government. I know that we are going through a hard time at the moment with the national deficit and the recession, but they have made some cuts to things that could be really important. For example totally cutting the Sustainable Development Commission and The UK Film Council.

Photograph by Vanya Sacha

Earlier this summer, you attended a Compass Conference – could you describe to Amelia’s Magazine readers the nature of these political events?

There are various political conferences that take place, I have been involved with Compass for the past four years. I used to be on the Compass youth management committee.

Compass was set up by Neal Lawson and is an umbrella organisation for progressive politics, bringing together politicians of all parties, pressure groups, trade unions, think tanks, NGOs, academics, activists, campaigners and individuals. They hold an annual conference every summer to discuss ideas.

There is an opening address in the main hall which this year had Caroline Lucas MP on the panel, and a closing address which had Pam Giddy, POWER 2010, Jon Cruddas MP & Chuka Umunna MP. There was also a Labour Leaders Debate which was quite interesting to see live.

The rest of the day is filled with smaller seminars, covering over 30 topics including Climate Change“>Climate Change, Parliamentary Reform, Tax Justice, The NHS, Feminist Issues and Poverty.

It is an opportunity to think through alternatives to the ways problems are currently being tackled, have open discussions, ask questions and be inspired.

Photograph by Maciej Groman

What are Think Act Vote’s recommendations for making your vote count everday?

It is just about thinking about what is important to you, and finding ways to take action and get your voice heard. Whether that is through supporting campaigns, or thinking twice about what you spend your money on.

If you haven’t yet, a good place to start is by contributing to our book. Ask yourself the question – What is The Future You Choose?
You might just give yourself the answer of what to do next..

You can read some examples and contribute online.

What are Think Act Vote plans for the rest of the summer?

More, more, more. We have been doing Think Act Vote Photobooths, and running around music festivals taking photos and getting people to take part. So we are going to carry this on until the end of September.

Ethical Fashion Green Sunday. Photograph by LUDOVIC DES COGNETS.

Where can you find out about the Photobooth events?

We do these events often, keep your eyes on our facebook page and the events page on the Think Act Vote website. Apart from the festivals, we are planning various other venues around London over the next seven weeks.

We are trying to find interesting venues, like the Union Street Orchard for example.

The release date for the The Future I Choose anthology has been delayed, what were the reasons behind this decision?

We had such a great response and more than enough content to publish the book straight after the election, but thought it made sense to get more people to take part over the summer.

Also we didn’t want to send out the message that you only get a choice in The Future You Choose in the run up to an election, because the whole point of our campaign is that you get that choice every day.


Playsuit by Tara Starlet for Think Act Vote: photograph by Dominic Clarke

Have you been working with new fashion designers since Amelia’s Magazine interviewed you? I see the blog mentions: Nancy Dee and Miksani?

We have been sharing on our site the full stories of the Think Act Vote Refashioned pieces, and in some cases instructions on how to make them.

The designers that took part were Ciel, Ada Zandition, Nancy Dee, Miksani, Junky Styling, TRAIDremade, Beautiful Soul and Tara Starlet. Other designers really wanted to take part but couldn’t at the time as they were out of the country, we might get them to do a little something.

The MA students on the Fashion & The Environment project at London College of Fashion are working on something for us now, which we can’t wait to see!

Photograph by Deepti V. Patel

What does the Think Act Vote campaign mean after the election?

Although inspired by the election, the campaign was never about voting in the election. It is about understanding that everyday we all express the future we choose by how we spend our time, money and energy. It’s about inspiring ourselves and others to live a life that reflects what we actually want from our future when we stop to think about it.

The ‘Vote’ is ours, it is about taking that word away from politicians as something we give to them every four years. About us not being afraid to use political language in our every day lives in a positive way.

I know that having Vote in the campaign name has put many people off it, and even a lot of my friends have thought it was about voting in elections until I explained that.

But I think it is important to be aware that everything we do is political and that every day we make choices that shape our world.

Photograph by Deepti V.Patel

Olivia Sprinkel, Winner of the poetry competition was announced on the night of the Think Act Vote Party, How was this decision made?

The poetry competition was judged by John Bird and Shane Solanki. The shortlist was read out at the party and went down really well.

Even though the competition is over, everyone is still welcome to answer our question – What’s The Future You Choose with a poem. It might end up in our book!

What’s next for Think Act Vote?

We are really excited about Vintage at Goodwood this weekend! We are doing Think Act Vote Refashioned workshops in the sustainability area where you can make your very own Think Act Vote Refashioned Dress. We will also be doing photoshoots, meet us outside our tent after our workshops.

I am also doing a talk in the talk tent on ethical fashion and creative activism.

This weekend (13th – 14th August 2010) finds Think Act Vote participating in Vintage at Goodwood’s, Sustainable Design Workshops. Find the the Think Act Vote team at 11-1 and 3-6 on Friday and between 1-4 adn 4-7 on Saturday and Sunday.
NB: sadly we can’t attend to report on this workshop: read more about why here.

From the Think Act Vote Team:

“It is an invitation for you to take part in Think Act Vote Refashioned. You can make your very own Think Act Vote one off piece and then have it photographed to be in our book, as well as a post online about how you went about your customisation.

You will be in very capable hands as the workshops will be led by Laura Metcalf and Alison Lewis who met on set of a channel 4 television pilot, they have been working together most recently on alterations and repairing vintage clothes at Clerkenwell Vintage Fair in London.”

Amisha Ghadiali will be interviewed by Leonora Oppenheim about Ethical Fashion and Creative Activism at 5pm on Saturday in the Talk Tent. This is an event not to be missed!

What’s the Future You Choose?


Illustrations by Jenny Robins

If you are visiting Windsor this Summer, pharmacy and I really think you should because it’s got everything: Nando’s, drug Wagamama, drugs a Castle – no really, it’s really pretty. Pretend you are posh, or a tourist. If you are posh, pretend to be a tourist, and vice versa. A nice day trip away from the city; a nice daytrip towards the city, but not quite too the city. If you live West.

Anyway, if you are visiting Windsor this Summer, be sure to stop in to the Mill House café and look at the really lovely Fragments exhibition put together by the superstar curatorial team Two Magpies Find. It’s on the left as you walk away from the Castle down Peascod Street, opposite Ben & Jerry’s. The show is up till the end of August.

Ok, this exhibition in question does include a lot of my work, so this is a bit self serving (insider’s perspective, Amelia said) but I don’t want to talk about that too much (although I will mention that the WHOWHATWHEREWHENHOW owl series is available as a limited edition postcard set – I’m only human). I wrote a big thing about me and why I paint birds for their local Beat magazine off the back of Fragments, so please feel free to go read that. I like birds, you like birds, we like birds, I paint birds, fly bird fly, etc.

But seriously, it’s all about the birds, kids. Edward Bawden used to say that the secret to selling paintings was to put cats in them wherever possible. Plenty of art lovers still love cats, that’s still a cliché. But in the last few years, particularly, it seems drawing birds is a strong contender. Just look at the fabulous Jo Cheung and Abi Daker’s birdtastic background for this very website. Birds are so beautiful and varied, they burst with life. There’s a special contained freedom to them that must appeal to the creative soul.


Ali and Anna of Two Magpies Find

“I’m obsessed with birds too!” Ali of TwoMagpiesFind told me soon after we first met. It’s not surprising since she is a Magpie herself, wearing a golden bird-table necklace, echoing the lovely birdhouse illustration advertising their next exhibition theme “Home” (email entries here.) The pair met at the Firestation – a local arts centre where Anna works and Ali volunteers – and plan to expand their gallery work both locally and in other areas. Projects like this are so important, where independent venues work together with creatives to organise events that benefit locals and artists alike. Artists often live a magpie existence, ever courting serendipity. We need to support each other and keep on collaborating and getting involved with small projects. It can make the world of difference.

As well as my varied bird paintings, the show brings together Magpie finds illustrator and publisher Dan Prescott of Lazy Gramaphone, who’s intricate designs are both striking and absorbing, beautifully presented as perfect quality Giclée prints, and painter Zita Saffrette, whose landscapes are so full of light and air you’d think they were backlit. In addition the Magpies have displayed some of their own work –beautifully printed photographs exploring stark white juxtapositions on natural scenes (my favourite is of a wedding dress draped across a field), intricate nature paintings and a really striking screen print of two toy horses blown up to poster size.

The café itself is a stunning space, much bigger and brighter on the inside than you would know from the street. It used to be a Puccino’s and still retains the SHUT HAPPENS door signs (I love them). Multicoloured teapots and vases circle the top of the room, making the whole space seem almost that real-estate oxymoron – cosy yet spacious.

May these birds keep flying high into blue skies, and may all arty birds (of a feather) the land over keep on painting those feathered friends.

Categories ,Abi Daker, ,art, ,Beat Magazine, ,Ben and Jerry’s, ,birds, ,Dan Prescott, ,Edward Bawden, ,Firestation, ,Fragments, ,Home, ,illustration, ,Jenny Robins, ,Jo Cheung, ,Landscapes, ,Lazy Gramaphone, ,Magpies, ,Mill House Café, ,Nandos, ,Two Magpies Find, ,Wagamama, ,WhoWhatWhereWhenNow, ,Windsor, ,Windsor Castle, ,Zita Saffrette

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Amelia’s Magazine | Two Magpies Find: Fragments Exhibition


Illustrations by Jenny Robins

If you are visiting Windsor this Summer, and I really think you should because it’s got everything: Nando’s, Wagamama, a Castle – no really, it’s really pretty. Pretend you are posh, or a tourist. If you are posh, pretend to be a tourist, and vice versa. A nice day trip away from the city; a nice daytrip towards the city, but not quite too the city. If you live West.

Anyway, if you are visiting Windsor this Summer, be sure to stop in to the Mill House café and look at the really lovely Fragments exhibition put together by the superstar curatorial team Two Magpies Find. It’s on the left as you walk away from the Castle down Peascod Street, opposite Ben & Jerry’s. The show is up till the end of August.

Ok, this exhibition in question does include a lot of my work, so this is a bit self serving (insider’s perspective, Amelia said) but I don’t want to talk about that too much (although I will mention that the WHOWHATWHEREWHENHOW owl series is available as a limited edition postcard set – I’m only human). I wrote a big thing about me and why I paint birds for their local Beat magazine off the back of Fragments, so please feel free to go read that. I like birds, you like birds, we like birds, I paint birds, fly bird fly, etc.

But seriously, it’s all about the birds, kids. Edward Bawden used to say that the secret to selling paintings was to put cats in them wherever possible. Plenty of art lovers still love cats, that’s still a cliché. But in the last few years, particularly, it seems drawing birds is a strong contender. Just look at the fabulous Jo Cheung and Abi Daker’s birdtastic background for this very website. Birds are so beautiful and varied, they burst with life. There’s a special contained freedom to them that must appeal to the creative soul.


Ali and Anna of Two Magpies Find

“I’m obsessed with birds too!” Ali of TwoMagpiesFind told me soon after we first met. It’s not surprising since she is a Magpie herself, wearing a golden bird-table necklace, echoing the lovely birdhouse illustration advertising their next exhibition theme “Home” (email entries here.) The pair met at the Firestation – a local arts centre where Anna works and Ali volunteers – and plan to expand their gallery work both locally and in other areas. Projects like this are so important, where independent venues work together with creatives to organise events that benefit locals and artists alike. Artists often live a magpie existence, ever courting serendipity. We need to support each other and keep on collaborating and getting involved with small projects. It can make the world of difference.

As well as my varied bird paintings, the show brings together Magpie finds illustrator and publisher Dan Prescott of Lazy Gramaphone, who’s intricate designs are both striking and absorbing, beautifully presented as perfect quality Giclée prints, and painter Zita Saffrette, whose landscapes are so full of light and air you’d think they were backlit. In addition the Magpies have displayed some of their own work –beautifully printed photographs exploring stark white juxtapositions on natural scenes (my favourite is of a wedding dress draped across a field), intricate nature paintings and a really striking screen print of two toy horses blown up to poster size.

The café itself is a stunning space, much bigger and brighter on the inside than you would know from the street. It used to be a Puccino’s and still retains the SHUT HAPPENS door signs (I love them). Multicoloured teapots and vases circle the top of the room, making the whole space seem almost that real-estate oxymoron – cosy yet spacious.

May these birds keep flying high into blue skies, and may all arty birds (of a feather) the land over keep on painting those feathered friends.



Categories ,Abi Daker, ,art, ,Beat Magazine, ,Ben and Jerry’s, ,birds, ,Dan Prescott, ,Edward Bawden, ,Firestation, ,Fragments, ,Home, ,illustration, ,Jenny Robins, ,Jo Cheung, ,Landscapes, ,Lazy Gramaphone, ,Magpies, ,Mill House Café, ,Nandos, ,Two Magpies Find, ,Wagamama, ,WhoWhatWhereWhenNow, ,Windsor, ,Windsor Castle, ,Zita Saffrette

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Amelia’s Magazine | University of Central Lancashire: Graduate Fashion Week 2012 Catwalk Review

Hayley Harrison GFW 2012 UCLan by Alice Hair

Hayley Harrison by Alice Hair

Before attending my first Graduate Fashion Week show, I had a little look around the stands to see what would jump out at me without the glitz and glamour of the catwalk. University of Central Lancashire immediately got my attention thanks to full-sized toiles of Xiaoping (Fiona) Hwangs intricately pleated clothing on display. I chatted with UCLan lecturer Kate Ball, who gave me her tips of who to look out for on the catwalk. Xiaoping was on her list, as well as Claire Acton‘s hair-inspired silhouettes with oversized perspex hair clips, Talia Golchin who created silhouettes based on old Victorian brothel imagery and Emma Guilfoyle who experimented with large-scale prints of John Major. “It all sounds a bit mad but it’s done in a really innovative way,” assured Kate, and after flipping through student portfolios and seeing amazing use of colour, pattern and a healthy dose of illustration (always good) I was ready for the catwalk show.

Claire Acton

Claire Acton GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum
Claire Acton GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

Claire Acton opened the show with, well exactly what lecturer Kate Ball described, but much better than I imagined. Fun ideas are great, but fun ideas produced to this standard are amazing. Fabric was turned into strong graphic lines by clever strips cut to look like hair, pinned out of the way of the printed faces peeking underneath. Young, exciting and colourful, Claire was a perfect choice to open the show with, and the use of perspex accessories (which seemed to be everywhere this graduate fashion week) was spot-on. Claire has already been raved about in the press for her impressive collection, as well as a runner-up for the Gold Award. I’m expecting we’ll see more of her brilliantly executed work soon.

Talia Golchin

Talia Golchin GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum
Talia Golchin GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

For Talia’s collection curvy, illustrated female figures balanced on top of oversized masculine boiler suits or floaty dresses printed with lips and moustaches. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but I could appreciate the strength of the concept here: much like something a Vivienne Westwood or Masion Martin Margiela in-the-making would do, it was bold wearable art that challenged what you would expect to see on a catwalk.

Hayley Harrison

Hayley Harrison GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

Hayley Harrison‘s collection was full of loud, eye-popping colour, but done in an exceptionally smart way. Strong lines, crisp structured white shirts and plastic draped as if it was silk made me want to look, look, and look again at her workmanship. Lecturer Kate Ball summed up this year’s graduates by commenting on how much they all experimented with surface pattern and print, which was evident in the hazy polka-dot neon pattern used for this collection.

Hayley Harrison GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum
Hayley Harrison GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

I love polka dots- japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, the ‘Princess of Polka Dots‘ uses them in everything, (and has recently collaborated with Louis Vuitton) and while using so many variations in one look could be over-crowded, Hayley Harrison added just enough to each outfit.

Emma Guifoyle

Emma Guilfoyle GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

Thatcher-ite style seems to be in big favour recently, and graduate Emma Guilfoyle took it to an incredible level with conceptual fashion. The illustrative John Major print made an appearance with an Andy Warhol-like punch, framed by extended version of 80′s power shoulders. Emma made it beautiful with excellent colour combinations such as mint and white or pink and brown tweed sections, adding little touches such as iridescent pailettes or rosettes emblazoned with ‘Vote!’. I also like that she included a matching bag – a massive part of any female politician’s trademark look.

GFW collection by Emma Guilfoyle
Graduate collection by Emma Guilfoyle

Emma Guilfoyle GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum
Emma Guilfoyle GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

Steph Cunningham

Steph Cunningham GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum
Steph Cunningham GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

Trompe l’oeil digital prints with a hint of 90′s Versace: Steph Cunningham hit the mark with patterned suits, dresses and separates in an array of rich colours. I loved the gilded frame print used as an edging to the bottom and waist of a skirt or as the lapels on a coat (reminiscent of Mary Katrantzou), as well as the jumble of images that reminded me of a tapestry, echoing the feminine silhouettes perfectly.

Graduate Collection by Steph Cunningham
Graduate Collection by Steph Cunningham
Graduate Collection by Steph Cunningham

Xiaoping (Fiona) Huang
For each graduate’s work I saw, I would put a star next to my notes against a few who really impressed me, and Xiaoping Huang was definitely one of them. Already intrigued by the toiles on the UCLan stand and the heads up from a lecturer, I was not prepared for the incredible collection about to come down the catwalk. Incredible – and I mean incredible as Xiaoping has since been awarded the Zandra Rhodes Textiles award for her work – variations of accordion pleats in a ton of primary colours came bounding down the catwalk. Models changed from stiff structures to delicately shrouded forms in Issey Miyake-like softly pleated silks, then to bouncing, walking, jack-in-the boxes.

Xiaoping (Fiona) Huang GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum
Xiaoping (Fiona) Huang GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum
Xiaoping (Fiona) Huang GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

It was like Xiaoping Huang wasn’t just designing, she was playing with her skills, visually exploring the ways she could stretch her abilities. There was so much to see, and so many details that you could spend forever pouring over. Lecturer Kate Ball told me that Xiaoping is even involved in creating a set of ‘shrinkable furniture‘ and I began to see correlations between her work and Hussein Chalayan‘s famous collapsable, wearable furniture collections.

Graduate Collection by Xiaoping Huang

Seeing how successfully this collection turned out from looking over a teaser toile at the UCLan stand was the perfect end to the show. I cannot wait to see more from Xiaoping Huang, as well as the other graduates from such a talented group. Look out fashion world, there are some super-designers in waiting.

Xiaoping (Fiona) Huang GFW 2012 UCLan by Alia Gargum

Categories ,90s, ,Alice Hair, ,Andy Warhol, ,Claire Acton, ,Earls Court, ,Emma Guilfoyle, ,Gold Award, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Hayley Harrison, ,illustration, ,Issey Miyake, ,John Major, ,Kate Ball, ,Louis Vuitton, ,Maison Martin Margiela, ,Mary Kantrantzou, ,shrinkable furniture, ,Steph Cunningham, ,Talia Golchin, ,Textile Award, ,University of Central Lancashire, ,Versace, ,Vivienne Westwood, ,Xiaoping Huang, ,Yayoi Kusama, ,Zandra Rhodes

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Amelia’s Magazine | Zakee Shariff at Beyond the Valley

Having spearheaded the new London folk scene with their debut album, there medical Noah and the Whale are back with their hands full up, releasing a new single, album and film out this summer. We talk school plays, Daisy Lowe, weddings, gardening, Werner Herzog in the studio with the effortlessly charming frontman, Charlie Fink.

0819%20noah3.jpg
Photos by Katie Weatherall

Amelia’s Mag: You’ve got a whole host of new releases coming up – single, album, film – how are you feeling about it all, happy/nervous/excited?

Charlie Fink: All of the above… I dunno, we did the album so long ago… From the last album, I realised the only satisfying feeling you’re going to get is the feeling you get when you’ve finished it and you think it’s good, that’s the best it gets. Reading a review of somebody else saying it’s good is good to show off to your mum, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Likewise, if there’s something you believe in and someone says it’s bad, you’re still going to believe in it.

AM: And the live shows must add another dimension to that?

CF: Yeah. What I’m excited about really is that this record realises us as a band more than the previous one. So that’s going to be really exciting to go out and play that live to people.

AM: And is there anything in particular that has done this or has it been the natural progression of the band?

CF: It’s a million small things, from us playing together more, us growing up, learning our trade a bit better, from what happens in lives and the records you listen to. I very much try to rely as much as I can on instinct and satisfying myself. And this is not a selfish thing because the only way you can supply something worthwhile to somebody else, is if you’re totally satisfied with it yourself. Doing the right things for us and hoping that’ll transfer to the audience.

AM: Was there anything in particular you were listening to whilst making the record?

CF: The things I’m listening to now are different from the things I was listening to when I wrote the record. When I first started the record, I was listening to ‘Spirit of Eden’ by Talk Talk, which is a different sounding record to what we did. Nick Cave, lots by Wilco

AM: So tell me about the film, ‘The First Days Of Spring’, that accompanies the album (of the same name)… which came first?

CF: The first thing was the idea of a film where the background and the pace was defined by an album. But it totally overtook my whole life. It’s one of those things you start for a certain reason and then you keep going for different reasons. The inspiration was sort of how people don’t really listen to albums anymore, they listen to songs. We wanted to try making an all emersive record where the film puts people into it. We’re not dictating that this should be the only way people listen to music, we just wanted to offer something alternative. On a lot of records these days, you don’t feel like the unity of the album gives it more strength than each individual song. Whereas with this record, the whole thing is worth more than the individual parts. That’s how I see it anyway.

The First Days Of Spring Teaser from charlie fink on Vimeo.

There’s this quote from I think W. G. Collingwood that says, ‘art is dead, amusement is all that’s left.’ I like the idea that this project, in the best possible way, is commercially and in lots of other ways pointless. It’s a length that doesn’t exist. It’s not a short film or a feature, it’s 15 minutes and the nature of it is that it’s entirely led by its soundtrack. It’s created for the sake of becoming something that I thought was beautiful.

AM: And Daisy Lowe stars in it, how was that?

CF: She’s an incredibly nice and intelligent person. I met with her in New York when we were mixing the album and I told her I was doing this film… She was immediately interested. And her gave her the record as one whole track which is how I originally wanted it to be released. Just one track on iTunes that had to be listened to as a whole and not just dipped into. She sent me an email two weeks later, because she’s obviously a very busy person. With her listening to the album, a kind of live feed of what she thought of it. Making a film and having her was really good because she kept me motivated and passionate. She genuinely really took to this project. The whole cast as well, everyone really supported it and it was a pleasure to make. I had to fight to get it made and understood. It’s one of those things that people either passionately disagree with or agree with. From thinking it’s absurdly pretentious or beautiful. Fortunately all the people working on the film were passionate people.

AM: So is film making something you want to continue with?

CF: Yeah, definitely! At some point I’d like to make a more conventional film. The thing that really stuck with me about making a film was surround sound. When you’re mixing a film, you’re mixing the sound in surround because you’re mixing for cinemas. You realise the potential of having five speakers around you as opposed to just two in front of you. The complexity of what you can do is vast. So I’d love to something with that. If you record in surround sound you need to hear it in surround sound, so maybe some kind of installation… Then another film after that…

AM: You’ve been put into a folk bracket with your first album, is that something you’re ok with?

CF: I like folk music, I listen to folk music but then every folk artist I like denies they’re folk. It’s one of those things, it doesn’t really matter. We played last year at the Cambridge Folk Festival and I felt really proud to be a part of that. It’s a real music lovers festival. That was a really proud moment so I can’t be that bothered.

AM: I recently sang your first single, ‘5 Years Time’, at a wedding, do you ever imagine the direction your songs may go after you write them?

CF: Wow. That’s really funny. I’ve had a few stories like that actually. It’s touching but it’s not what I’d imagine.

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AM: Do you write songs in that way? Some bands set out to write a love song, dance song etc…

CF: I can’t really remember how I write… I was writing last night but… do you drive?

AM: I just recently failed my test.

CF: Perfect! Well, you know when you start driving you have to think through everything – put my foot on the clutch, take it off the clutch etc. Then when you’ve been doing it a while, you just do all those things without even knowing you’ve done them. That’s how it feels with songwriting, I can’t really remember doing it. It just happens how it happens. Or like gardening… you’ve just gotta chop through and it’ll come.

AM: Is being in a band everything you imagined it to be?

CF: For me it’s more about being creative. I do some production for people, the band, the writing and now the film. I just love what I do and just keep doing it. I follow it wherever it goes. The capacity I have for doing what I do is enough to make it feel precious.

AM: So are there any untapped creative pursuits left for you?

CF: At the moment what I’m doing feels right. I never had any ambitions to paint. I don’t have that skill. I think film and music have always been the two things that have touched me the most.

AM: So how about acting?

CF: I did once at school when I was 13. I played the chancellor in a play the teacher wrote called ‘Suspense and a Dragon Called Norris.’ Which had rapturous reactions from my mum. I don’t think I could do that either. When you direct though you need to understand how acting works. It’s a really fascinating thing but I don’t I’d be any good at it.

AM: Do you prefer the full creative potential a director has?

CF: The best directors are the ones that build a character. Building a character is as important as understanding it. It needs major input from both the director and the actor. You can’t just give an actor the script and expect it to be exactly right. You need to be there to create the little details. The way they eat, the way they smoke… That’s an important skill.

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At this point, Charlie asks me about a note I’d made on my reporter’s pad, which was actually a reminder about a friend’s birthday present. Which draws the conservation to a close as we recite our favourite Werner Herzog films. Turns out, he shares the same taste in film directors as my friend.

Monday 24th August
Mumford and Sons
The Borderline, more about London

UK’s answer to Fleet Foxes, online Mumford and Sons, visit this celebrate their music video to the first single off their debut album in North London tonight.

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Tuesday 25th August
Wilco
The Troxy, London

If Charlie from Noah and the Whale tells us he likes Wilco, then we like Wilco. It’s as simple as that. It’s time to get educated.

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Wednesday 26th August
The Hot Rats
The Old Blue Last, London

Otherwise known as half of Supergrass plus hot shot Radiohead producer, The Hot Rats get their kicks taking pop classics by, amongst others, The Beatles and The Kinks and infusing their own alt-rock psychedelica – worth a gander.

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Thursday 27th August
KILL IT KID
Madam Jo Jos, London

Their blend of durge blues, barndance and freestyle frenzy jazz blues make KILL IT KID a gem to behold in a live setting.

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Friday 28th August
Swanton Bombs
Old Blue Last, London

If you like your indie adorned in Mod and brimming with angularity, then Swanton Bombs will be pushing the trigger on your buttons.

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Saturday 29th August
South East in East Festival – Teenagers In Tokyo, Tronik Youth, Ali Love, Publicist
Vibe Bar, London

It’s all about South East London – full stop. In this cunning event, it up sticks to East London, where synth-pop Gossip descendents, Teenagers In Tokyo headline a night of New X Rave.

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Sunday 30th August
The Gladstone Open Mic Night
The Gladstone, London

As it’s Bank Holiday Weekend and all the bands are at Reading/Leeds Festival, London is starved of big gigs. No fear, The Glad is here – A little known drinking hole in Borough that continually serves up a plethora of folkey talent… and pies!

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Sunderland born designer Rosie Upright is truly passionate about design. Aren’t we all I hear you say? Well, health she’s up, recipe all hours, medical day or night… cutting away with her trusty stanley knife… stopping only when her numb fingertips plead for rest. Do your fingertips bleed? I thought not! Rosie developed her unique hand-crafted techniques whilst at university in Epsom, where she learnt all the usual computer design programs… and then decided to steer clear of them. She’s fled the suburbs of Epsom now, to live in London town with all the other hopeful new freelancers. She spends her days photographing, drawing, organising balls of string… and deciding what hat to wear.
We caught up with Rosie for a little chat…

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Hi, how are you today?

I’ve got a bit of a sore throat coming on, the irritating children over the road are noisily playing some kind of shooting game, a car is beeping its horn continuously just below my window, itunes is refusing to play anything other than Billy Idol (which I’m not in the mood for), my coloured ink cartridge has just ran out, I’ve got a blister from my favourite pink shoes, an uninvited wasp is stuck in my blinds, my ginger hair has faded to a weird brown, I forgot to buy milk and Ronnie Mitchell is still crying on Eastenders – but apart from that I’m topper thanks.

What have you been up to lately?

Fingers in pies, fingers in pies!
Including…cross-stitch and a week in a cottage in Norfolk (no telephone signal or internet connection, bloody lovely!)

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?

I don’t think I would have done a degree in graphic design if my ever-encouraging parents hadn’t taken me to a Peter Saville exhibition at the Urbis in Manchester many moons ago. Made me see the ideas process at its very best and the crucial-ness (that’s not even a word!) of initial doodles and sketchbooks.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Where would any of us be if it weren’t for Dr Seuss?
I really love a bit of Russian Constructivism, in particular Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, bloody genius.
Mr Vaughan Oliver, for making us all think differently about where to crop the image, for being an ongoing influence and for that opportunity.
Harry Beck, Robert Doisneau and most recently Philippe Petit.

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If we visited you in your hometown, where would you take us?

Stroll down to Seaburn beach because when you don’t live next to the sea anymore you really miss it, and it has really nice sand. Then to my very best friend Sarah Bowman’s house, to play with Peggy Sue the kitten, have mental vegetarian sandwiches off a cake stand, and a glass of red wine, ice cubes and coke. We should pop to an art shop in Darlington and then to The Borough, the best pub for tunes, a pint of cider and a Jaeger bomb.

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Who would most love to collaborate with creatively?

Mike Perry and YES art studio please. Thank you.

When did you realise you had creative talent?

When some hippy artist came into my junior school to create banners for some event at the local library with us. I was told after five minutes of colouring it in that I had to go away and read because I couldn’t keep within the lines.

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If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

A teenage Mam or an actress, haven’t decided which yet.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

I’d like to be the designer than graphic design students hate because their tutors always tell them to get their book out of the Uni library. And I’d quite like to have my own shop in London, Brighton or maybe Newcastle (or all three, and maybe Paris then if we’re going crazy) selling things made by me!

What advice would you give up and coming artists such as yourself?

Take other peoples advice but make your own mistakes, don’t be a dick and always colour outside of the lines.

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How would you describe your art in five words?

Hand made/ typography/ narrative/ personal/ I’d like to say idiosyncratic too but don’t want to sound like a twat.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Seeing people fall over.
(and cake)

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If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?

It was horrific enough moving away to University and into London and trying to find a job and start my life up. I think if I had to go backward or forward to another era I would probably just straight up die. Having said that though I would like to be a highwayman’s assistant.

Tell us something about Rosie Upright that we didn’t know already.

I can’t wait till I’m an old lady so I can wear those lacy nighties from Marks & Sparks and I love animals in clothes.

What are you up to next?

Going to make a cuppa tea, kill this wasp and then take over the world.
While most of us at the tender age of 19 rooted our existence in smacking down vodka jelly shots at the bar with kebabs at four in the morning and the Hollyoaks omnibus on a Sunday, pilule some people, of course, are born to shine in different ways. Take, for instance, London College of Fashion student Millie Cockton, somebody who has already had their work featured in a shoot for Dazed and Confused, styled by Robbie Spencer.

As a lover of clean lines and beautiful silhouettes, Millie looks for the wearer to bring their own identity to her gender non-specific pieces. At the moment under new label Euphemia, with her AW09/10 about to be stocked in London boutique and gallery space Digitaria, after being chosen to be the first guest designer at the Soho store. Check out the Dazed piece to see some brilliant Shakespearian-style ruffs that Millie has also created working with paper (a material proving popular as with Petra Storrs, who I featured last week).

Each to their own, mind you. I could totally do all that, if I wanted to.

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At the age of 19 you’ve already received quite a lot of attention – how has that been?

It’s been great so far! It’s very flattering but its also very daunting! I am on a constant learning curve and my work is developing all the time so although the attention is great it creates a lot of pressure!

Describe your design aesthetic in three words.

Clean, sculptural, understated.

Who do you see wearing your designs? Are they reflective of your own personality?

I like to think of a real mixture of people wearing my designs. I love the way that the same garment can look completely different on different people- for me its all about the individual and how they carry themselves, bringing their own identity to the piece.

I don’t think that my designs are necessarily a true representation of my personality and personal style. I feel that my designs are more of a reflection of the aesthetic that i find desirable and aspirational.

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Thinking about the ruffs featured in Dazed, people have touched on the theatrical nature of your designs – is the idea of performance important to you in fashion?

The idea of performance within fashion is something that interests me but I wouldn’t say that it’s a key element within my own designs. I like the notion of a performative element within a piece or a collection as i think that it helps gain a further understanding and insight of the designers thought process and inspiration.

What else do you respond to?

I am constantly discovering new sources of inspiration, being so young I know that I still have so much to learn!

Who are your fashion icons?

Yves Saint Laurent, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Jones.

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Is craft something else you’re interested in too?

I like to use elements of craft within my designs, such as origami style folding. Craft elements can add interesting details to simple pieces.

What are your plans for the future? Who would you like to work for?

I am about to launch my new collection which will be stocked in Digitaria, recently opened on Berwick St, Soho. I have just started to work with Digitaria’s creative director , Stavros Karelis and stylist Paul Joyce on some future projects which are really exciting and I am thoroughly enjoying. I want to continue learning and developing my ideas, challenging myself and most importantly keep having fun!

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‘Having fun’ of course might well translate to ‘becoming future fashion empress of the galaxy’. This is a talent to watch out for.

Photographs:George Mavrikos
Styling: Paul Joyce
Model: Antonia @ FM models

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Image by Mia Overgaard

The Camp for Climate Action 2009 is almost upon us – now’s the time to gather ourselves and prepare to swoop. Convinced that the response to climate change needs more? Ready to share skills, stomach knowledge and experiences? To be part of the grassroots swell of people demanding a difference? To get out there and do something?

Climate Camp is for you.

Be ready next Wednesday, 12th August, from noon, in London. We’re going to swoop on the camp location together. The more people the better. Secret until the last moment, you can sign up for text alerts and join one of the groups meeting scattered about central London before moving together to the camp.

Why Camp? We can all meet each other and learn stuff – reason enough? – I mean, an enormous, public, activist-friendly child-friendly student-friendly climate-friendly gathering with an ambitious and well-prepared programme of workshops covering all things from Tai Chi for those of us up early enough, through histories student activism, DIY radio, pedal-powered sound systems, legal briefings, stepping into direct action, singing, dancing, jumping and waving.

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Why London? Climate Campers have listed ten reasons to focus on London – right up the top of that list is : tall buildings and low flood plains. London is big corporate central, the City square mile itself accounting for a huge proportion of the UK economy, that FTSE100-flavoured slice of barely accountable, shareholder driven pie. And yet, as the Thames Barrier should always remind us, the whole city sits low on the ground. Just check out what the centre looks like with a few metres rise in sea level.

So what’s first? The Climate Camp Benefit party/shindig/jamboree/palooza/knee’s-up/gala ball/discotheque/rave/soiree at RampART, 9pm-3am this Friday 21st August. Consisting of fun/revelry/ribaldry/tomfoolery/jocularity/jive/merriment/high kinks, low jinks, jinks of all stature/cheer/gambol/horseplay & frolic. With bands & DJ’s including Rob the Rub & Sarah Bear & those amazing skiffle kids ‘The Severed Limb’. That’s at:

9pm-3am
rampART, 15 -17 Rampart Street,
London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)
Donations on the door much appreciated (and needed!) – all going straight to Climate Camp

And then? The Swoop – Night Before – Londoners and out-of-town visitors are welcome to ‘the night before the swoop’ – near the bandstand in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 7-8.30pm, Tuesday 25th August – for any last minute info, a legal briefing and an opportunity to join an affinity group and get excited. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is just behind Holborn tube station – this map here might help.

Awesome. See you soon.

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Ctrl.Alt.Shift dropped us a line to let us know about a comics-making competition so get your promarkers and layout pads at the ready. Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmarks Corruption is giving you the opportunity to design a unique comic style story. Ctrl.Alt.Shift is the experimental youth initiative politicising a new generation of activists for social justice and global change. The competition hopes to raise awareness of the Ctrl.Alt.Shift and Lightspeed Champion goals and views by inspiring this generation of designers to work together.

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Oscar nominated Marjane Satrapi, medical V V Brown and Lightspeed Champion are amongst the judges for the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption competition launched today. Corruption is both a cause of poverty, and a barrier to overcoming it. It is one of the most serious obstacles to eradicate.

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Entrants to the competition will be in with the chance to create a unique comic style story in collaboration with acclaimed musician and writer Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion. After the first round of judging at the end of September, shortlisted entrants will be given Lightspeed Champion’s comic script as inspiration and asked to create a visual adaptation of the story.

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The winning commission will be published in a comic alongside new work exploring the issue of Corruption by some of comic’s greatest talents. The work will also be showcased as part of a new exhibition, Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption, later this year at Lazarides Gallery, Soho.
To enter the competition please send relevant examples of your visual work along with your contact details to Ctrl.Alt.Shift by Friday 25th September by visiting www.ctrlaltshift.co.uk/unmaskscorruption.

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Five short listed artists will then be given a comic brief to respond to and a winner chosen by a panel of judges including: Marjane Satrapi (Writer and Director of Academy Award Nominated Animated Film Persepolis) Paul Gravett (Comica founder), V V Brown and David Allain (Musician and Comic Book Writer/Artist duo), Lightspeed Champion and Ctrl.Alt.Shift.

The competition is restricted to UK Residents only
For further information about the competition please contact John Doe on 020 7749 7530 or Hannah@johndoehub.com / Jo.bartlett@johndoehub.com
Brooke Roberts is my favourite new designer. Why? Well, more about after exchanging several emails with her over the last few weeks, for sale for a young designer making such waves in the industry, her witty and playful personality has impressed even via my inbox! Having worked with such characters such as Louise Goldin and Giles, her avant- garde aesthetic really shines through in her highly tailored and retro-feel designs. Miss Roberts is going places, and she’s more than willing to take us along with her!

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What made you want to be a designer? What’s your design background?

I’m definitely not one of those designers who always knew that’s what they wanted to do. I did a degree in Applied Science at Sydney University (I’m from Australia) and worked as a radiographer for a year before moving to London to find out what I wanted to do. I did some work as a stylist with a fashion photographer (random hook-up). I knew his girlfriend and she knew my massive extensive collection of vintage clothes and shoes. My mum had a boutique when I was growing up and I loved clothes – I just never knew it was going to be my career.

I did a few jobs in London (pub, bank – more randomness) before realising I wanted to study fashion. I went to London College of Fashion and Central St.Martins (graduated 2005) wanting to be a pattern-cutter or tailor. I really wanted to create, rather than design. I get most satisfaction from making beautiful things and being involved in the whole process. I have a close working relationship with my suppliers, and go to the factories to develop my garments. I cut them all myself, which is probably bordering on control freakery, but I feel it shows in the final product and I can realise my designs exactly as I imagine them.

I’m waffling. I worked for Giles for two seasons after I left Uni, and started with Louise Goldin when she launched her label. We worked together for three years (until last October when I launched my label).

What are your inspirations for your collections?

I get lots of inspiration from my radiography job (I do that part-time to fund my label). So I’m running between the hospital and my studio all the time. I have used CT (cat) brain scans this season to create knit fabrics and digital prints. My obsession with reptile skins never seems to go away, and I have worked with Anwen Jenkins (awesome print designer) to create skull slice python skin prints. Basically, the python scales are replaced with multi-dimensional skull slices.

Apart from that, I research at museums and LCF Library. This season went to the British Museum and discovered Yoruba sculpture and traditional costumes. I researched these for silhouette and style lines. I also looked at Niger garments. They’re beautifully colourful, vibrant and flamboyant.

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What are your favourite pieces from your latest collection?

Umm. I wear the cat suit most. I actually met my boyfriend the first time I wore it. So I’m renaming it Lucky cat suit. I also love the Flex jacket in red snakeskin. The razor sharp points make me feel like I am ready for world domination!

What was it like working with Giles Deacon and Louise Goldin? What did you learn from them?

I learnt that I hate taking orders from others! I’m really not one to toe-the-line. I am a perfectionist and this drives other people mad sometimes. I was a pattern-cutter at Giles, doing mostly tailoring, which suited me fine. Most people wanted to do the showpieces, but I was most happy cutting jackets. Giles is a really lovely bloke. Working with him was really my first experience of doing shows and the pressure and stress of getting everything done.

With Louise, my job was broader because in the beginning it was just the two of us. I learnt so much, I can’t even write it down. I worked in the London studio and the knitwear factory in Italy. I had the opportunity to learn knitwear programming, selecting yarns and cutting and constructing knit. I still work in the factory for my own label and really love it. The other big thing was learning about running a business and starting from scratch. The hoops you have to jump through, the process of getting sponsorship, doing shows, sales and production… It’s a massive undertaking starting your own label. And I still chose to do it! Bonkers.

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Who do you think are the most important designers of your generation?

Hmm. Well, I like the work of Tina Kalivas and Gareth Pugh. If we’re talking most important, it has to be Gareth.

I’m really a lover of 80′s and 90′s designers. I find the work of Gianni Versace, Thierry Mugler and Rifat Ozbek most relevant to my style and most exciting.

What do you think are the problems facing young designers at the moment?

The biggest problems are funding and dealing with suppliers, particularly for production. Creating a beautiful product that you can reproduce is actually really difficult! You need to understand the technicalities of fabrics and construction (or hire someone who does) otherwise it all goes wrong.

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What’s next for Brooke Roberts?

In fantasy land, what’s next for Brooke Roberts is a holiday. In reality, I’m working hard on marketing and sales for London Fashion Week. I’m collaborating with jewellery designer Chris Edwards and shoe and bag designer Laura Villasenin on side projects for the label. Look out for skull slice stacked rings and metal bone-fixation embellished super-soft bags for SS10!!

Find Brooke stocked at the King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

Not slim tomatoes, viagra dosage narrow cucumbers or squashed, um, squashes – no, we’re talking about digging for victory in our own meagre abodes. With allotment waiting lists stretching beyond a century in Hackney and not many of us owning the half-county some how-to books seem to assume, options on grow-your-own approaches might look limited. But before you get the howling fantods at the piling impossibilities. As those of you who read the Amelia’s Magazine review of Growing Stuff (an Alternative Guide to Gardening) will know well, even the meagrest city apartment can burst forth in cornucopic life.

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Illustrations by Maxime Francout

And but so then it seems the thing to do is simply to get a pack of seeds and a container and get growing, no hesitation about it. If a brief pause in favour of screenreading sounds like it could lead to better inspiration, I entreat you, read on. There’s a glut of blogs and enthusiasts all over the place to speak to or read up upon. Here are just a few of our favourites.

Life on the Balcony tells Fern Richardson’s encounters with gardens small and smaller, great for fresh faces and old hands alike, with an awesome friendly dirt cheap ways to garden.

Carrie, of Concrete Gardening blogging fame (true in a juster world), digs organic urban gardening, and has gotten into gardening without the erm, garden, since buying a house in the city (Philadelphia) and sees all the possibilities of planting up, sideways and over – just recently blogging about taking things to the next level and climbing up on her roof to plant out veggies, seedlings to sit and soak up sun.

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Herbs and Dragonflies is written by a group set up by Kathy Marshall back in 2008 for the Pudsey Carnival and have been creatively, craftily planting since, encouraging others to get their green fingers dirty – doing activities with children and volunteering about the place. Most recently, they encouraged us blog-readers to leave the comfort of plastic planters and terracotta pots – most anything can sit with some soil in it. They suggest novelty Cadbury’s Fingers tins, I’ve used fancy jamjars, and seen anything from skips to wellington boots enlisted in the service of greenery.

Emma Cooper (I’m cribbing now from the ‘Growing Stuff’ contributor biogs page) lives in Oxfordshire with two pet chickens – Hen Solo and Princess Layer – and six compost bins. She has written an ‘Alternative A-Z of Kitchen Gardening’, which Karen Cannard The Rubbish Diet reckons is ‘an inspirational tour of an edible garden that can be recreated in the smallest of backyards. An essential guide for a new generation of gardeners who are keen to join the kitchen garden revolution.’And she blogs about anything from compost to pod plants to the future of food…

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Madeleine Giddens loves herbs, which I guess you’d guess from the name of her blog – Mad About Herbs. But there’s nothing off the wall about any of it, she’s plunged into an obsession and come out smelling of roses and lavender, buzzing about bees too, recently, and their favourite flowers.

So there you have it, just a few spots and pointers. Good evening, and wishes for a fruitful weekend from Amelia’s Magazine.
The Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS. Formally known with pride as the “oil and gas bank” due to their close alliance with the fossil fuel industries. What on earth would I have to do with them? They may have lost the unfortunate moniker, treat partly due to a hugely successful campaign by People and Planet student activists who launched a spoof ad campaign and website named the Oyal Bank of Scotland before delivering a host of greenwashing awards – but they’re certainly not due for any special ethical mentions yet.

Not yet.

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There was of course a massive £33 billion bank bailout from the taxpayer for RBS last year. But RBS didn’t spend the money on anything worthwhile. Oh no, the truth is that RBS still has oily blackened hands. Most people will remember the Fred Goodwin debacle, he who managed to retire at the age of 50 on a £16 million pension funded by taxpayers. But that’s not the whole of it – since the bailout some of our money has been used to arrange loans for the fossil fuel industries worth a staggering £10 billion, including a substantial sum for E.ON, the company that wants to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth. Despite the best efforts of activists –  there was an impromptu snowball fight during the winter, Climate Rush held a luncheon dance and Climate Camp set up camp down the road at BishopsgateRBS continues to invest in unsustainable resources.

But the good news is there is hope for change!

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As I’ve got more and more involved with activism I’ve got to know members of PLATFORM, who together with People and Planet and the World Development Movement have launched a legal challenge against our government to make sure that public money used for bailouts is put towards building sustainability. PLATFORM is an organisation that combines art with activism, research and campaigning, so in many ways we are perfect partners and I was really excited when they recently approached me to collaborate on an exciting new project at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol.

As part of a wider festival named 100 Days, PLATFORM will be co-producing over 50 events, installations, performances, actions, walks, discussions and skill shares over a period of two months. This season is called “C words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture” and is intended to highlight what needs to be done to change the world in the run-up to the incredibly important (but unlikely to solve anything) COP 15 conference (think Kyoto 2 – it failed first time around so why would it succeed now?) in Copenhagen in December.

Your part in this audacious experiment?

We’re going to re-envision RBS as a bastion of sustainability – the Royal Bank of Sustainability in fact. And it will be down to you to create the artwork… once more I will be running one of my becoming-somewhat-regular open briefs. We would like you to submit either a logo or a poster (or both) that will suggest a swing in the direction of all things sustainable in the most imaginative way possible. Around ten of the best artworks will be shown for a week at the prestigious Arnolfini gallery in Bristol as part of the whole shebang, culminating with a public judging and prize-giving overseen by yours truly and helped out by the folk at PLATFORM and no less than the Marketing Manager of the Arnolfini, Rob Webster, and Fiona Hamilton of Soma Gallery (Bristol), a woman with great taste in the arts who runs a cult art shop that has been a long standing supplier of my print magazine. We might even invite someone powerful from RBS! (invite being the operative word) After the event PLATFORM will profile you on their website with links to yours, and prior to the actual event I’ll be posting the best entries onto my website – one good reason to get your artwork in as quickly as possible.

If you are interested read on:

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What you need to know:

Ideas:
Yeah yeah – we all know wind turbines are great news and polar bears are having a terrible time, but for this brief we’d like you to think a bit outside the box. We’ll be looking for the most refreshing ways of thinking about how we can live in the most sustainable way possible, and most importantly how RBS could play a possible role in aiding this transition to a low carbon world. Don’t forget that we, the taxpayers, own 70% of RBS – why not make it into the people’s bank? You should make clear in your chosen design the re-imagining of the old RBS into the new. Instead of investing in carbon-intensive industries the new RBS will serve the public interest by investing only in socially conscious, ethically driven, and environmentally sound projects.

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Style:
Think serious or earnest, kitsch or ironic, warm and fluffy, abstract or illustrative; whatever best communicates the concept and appeals to the broader public, the press and perhaps even people in government. It should engage and inspire. You can collage photography on your computer or paint with your fingers and toes – what matters is the outcome. We want to see imagery that speaks of something new, radical and POSSIBLE. Think positive social force. We love the Obama image that was used in the run up to his election – the reworking of his image in a simple pop art style somehow speaks volumes about new, positive change – and has fast become an iconic piece of graphic design, so we thought we’d use it here to demonstrate that you don’t have to be too literal in your interpretation of the brief to create a successful image. If you choose to create a poster remember that it could be made as an advert.

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Technical specifications:
your image should be created to these sizes and scannable or put together on a computer:
A1 for the poster.
A2 or squared off A2 for the logo.
Please send me a lo resolution version but make sure you work to these sizes. We will arrange for the printing of your image should it be chosen.

Deadline:
We need your submissions to reach me by Monday 2nd November. Please send lo res versions of your design to info@ameliasmagazine.com

Future projects:
Please bear in mind that if we really love your work we might want to use it in further literature and exhibitions. Just think, your work really could persuade RBS to change course at a pivotal point in our history. What a fabulous idea!

Join the facebook event here to stay in touch with updates
And join the “Stop RBS using public money to finance climate change” facebook group here

Below is a list of links you might want to peruse for inspiration:

PLATFORM’s website
Transition Towns
Centre for Alternative Technology
Zero Carbon Britain
Post Carbon Institute
the Oyal Bank of Scotland
Capitalists Anonymous
Britain Unplugged
Climate Friendly Banking
Banca Etica
GLS Bank

Get scribbling folks! Any queries please contact me directly via email rather than on the comments below.
If you have been to a UK festival in the last few years, pharm chances are that at some point you found yourself dancing in the OneTaste tent. Having residency at Glastonbury, sickness Big Chill and Secret Garden Party to name but a mere few, OneTaste have acquired a devoted fan base of festival goers who want a guarantee that when they walk into a tent they will get the following components; top quality live music, an high-spirited and friendly crowd, and twenty four hour revelry.

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OneTaste in Hyde Park, London

Yet their festival appearances are just one aspect of the multifaceted music troupe. When they are appearing at say, SGP or Glasto, they perform as a collective of musicians, poets and artists who, for many of the festivals, break bread and share space with Chai Wallahs. When they put on events in Greater London and Brighton, (where every night is different from the last), their roots run deep, towards diverse and innovative singers, performers and spoken word artists. They are fiercely proud of their reputation of facilitating and nurturing emerging talent; promoting, not exploiting it, connecting with the audience and creating a true OneTaste family, both onstage and off.

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I have known of OneTaste for years, being friends with some of the artists who have performed with them. Having shamelessly utalised their tent at this years Secret Garden Party to dance, drink, chill, detox and then re-tox, I felt it was time to get to know them a little better. The perfect opportunity came at the recent OneTaste night at the Bedford in Balham which I attended recently on a balmy Thursday night. The vaudeville past of the Globe Theatre within the Bedford was an apposite setting for the style of event that OneTaste puts on. As the preparation for the evenings entertainment began in this deeply historical building, I managed to catch a quick chat with the creator of OneTaste, Dannii Evans, where we talked about the rhymes, reasons and the meaning behind this unique and innovative event.

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photograph by Kim Leng Hills

When I saw OneTaste’s excellent night in the Jazz Cafe a while back, I saw a lot of different styles of music and spoken word. What would you say is the one common thread that unites everyone?

We’ve always been trying to find out what the thread is! It is definitely not genre, we do every single style and welcome every style, probably the only genre we haven’t booked yet is heavy metal! The thing that links us all together .. (pauses)… is that everyone has got a massive social conscience; it is not always explicit, but it is implicit within a person, it’s in their art. It’s something that holds us all together, everyone at OneTaste has that in mind – that there is a bigger picture and that we need to better ourselves in everything that we do.

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Charlie Dark performs at OneTaste Bedford

How did OneTaste begin?

The OneTaste music and spoken word night, started four and a half years ago by myself, and Jamie Woon. We basically started it in order that these musicians can do something where they could get paid.

You pay the performers? That’s so rare!

Definitely. We wanted to put on a night where the quality of every single act was really high and it could be where musicians could start their career, so that was the premise. Also the concept is that the event is always half music, half spoken word.

So is it a collective, a record label, an event? I’m kind of confused!

It started off as an event, with us meeting a number of artists and acts that we got on really well and gelled with, who we took on tour around festivals, and then out of spending three months together we formed the OneTaste collective. It started becoming an artist run collective where people would help with the actual event production and then it ended with them all collaborating on material together.

Who are some of the artists involved?
Portico Quartet, Stac, Inua Ellams, Gideon Conn, Kate Tempest, Newton Faulkner, to name just a few!

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How do artists become part of OneTaste? Is it something that they can dip in and out of?

Absolutely, it’s not exclusive. It grew organically, it’s not an in or out thing – it happens more naturally than that.

Do you have to audition to get in?

To take part in the OneTaste night, either myself or someone running it have to have seen them live. Audience engagement is very important to us, to reach out and to be able to communicate with the audience is really vital. The live aspect and their live dynamic with the crowd is so important, so while they don’t audition, we do need to see how they will perform.

So it seems to have grown hugely in the last four years; Can you give me an idea of the numbers of acts that you have worked with?

In the collective, we have around 30 acts that we are currently championing, but in the last four years we have worked with around 300 artists. The audiences have grown from 40 people to 300 here at the Bedford, 500 at the Jazz Cafe, and 5,000 at the recent gig we did in Hyde Park.

How does OneTaste promote its artists?

It has always been very grass roots, we’ve never done an advert, it’s always just been people coming down and then telling their friends and from that it grew really quickly.

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Are there many of the artists signed to labels, and do you help them along their way?

We do, we give them industry advice – we develop their music, or spoken word, we try to help where we can. Some of the artists like Jamie Woon or Portico Quartet have gone on to get more media attention and they kind of carry the OneTaste name with them and still do gigs for us.

What is the direction that OneTaste is heading in?

Potentially, we might have our own venue at festivals next year, which is really exciting. We have a digital compilation coming out, the first one will be coming out in September, and eventually we may form a OneTaste record label.

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Gideon Conn performs at OneTaste Bedford.

Dannii and I continue chatting for a short while, and after this she has tasks to do. The audience is filling up, and the night is about to start. Sitting on a bench in the back with a big glass of red wine, I watch the event unfold. The performers are electric, and completely different from one another, yet equally complimentary. Most appear to be old friends, and loudly cheer each others performances. The atmosphere is infectious, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed myself so much at a gig (and it’s not because of the wine!). I’m quite au fait with the open mic nights and acoustic gigs of London, but I haven’t been to a night which is as cohesive and inclusive as OneTaste. If you want to experience it for yourself, OneTaste are easy to find. Check out their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Flickr for images, articles, and dates about upcoming shows, which include a September 8th gig at The Distillers in Hammersmith and 27th September at The Hanbury Club in Brighton.
This week Climate Camp 2009 swoops on London, this site aiming to pressure politicians ahead of the Copenhagen climate change summit in December. Climate Camp will achieve this by encouraging individuals to think about lifestyle changes possible both collectively and personally to prevent climate change.

Sharing these sensibilities, the French Collective Andrea Crews encourage a new life philosophy outside the corporate rat race so often associated with London and other major cities. Being introduced to the fashion/art/activist collective Andrea Crews felt like a breath of fresh air often associated with Amelia’s magazine, a long time supporter of sustainable fashion, craft, activism and individual design.

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Andrea Crews Collective express their desire for economic and social change through “the use and the reinterpretation of the second-hand garment” calling it “a social, economic and ethical choice.” A choice displayed by the sheer volume of abandoned second hand garments used throughout the catwalk shows, art exhibitions and activist events. The group criticise the relentless waste of modern consumption, fast fashion has helped to create, through visualising the stress on land fill sites around the world in their staged events. Subsequently by ignoring market pressures: mass seduction and seasonal calendars, Andrea Crews re-introduces a slower, more individual fashion culture through the processes of sorting and recycling.

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The Crews Collective march to the same tune as Climate Camp, not only by caring for the environment but in their dedication towards an alternative developed sustainable economy. Andrea Crews encourages mass involvement stating that the project “answers to a current request for creative energy and social engagement. Recycling, Salvaging, Sorting out, are civic models of behaviour we assert.” Thus the power of low-level activism or grass roots activism becomes apparent, if enough people participated with Climate Camp or The Andrea Crews Collective. The pressure on governments to look for an alternative way of living would be undeniable.

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The ever-expanding coverage of ethical, eco fashion on the internet plays testimony to the idea that the individual is changing. The Andreas Collective through their exquisite catwalks –particularly the Marevee show with the appearance of clothes mountains which the models scrambled over to reach the runway- draw attention to the powerful position regarding sustainability, fashion can occupy if it so chooses.

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All quotes and images are from the Andrea Crews website.
DIY LONDON SEEN
The Market Building
Covent Garden, doctor London WC2 8RF
Until 5th September

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DIY LONDON SEEN hopes to illustrate the growth of the movement inspired by the ‘Beautiful Losers’, doctor which is now a global phenomenon, generic by showcasing the work of local artists whose work takes the ethos of the Alleged gallery Artists and runs with it.

KNOT EXACTLY
Hepsibah Gallery

Brackenbury Road, London W6

Show runs from: 28th August- 2nd September ’09,
with a preview on the 27th September from 6.00-9.00pm

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Artists: Ellen Burroughs presents intricate technical drawings of a surreal nature, Sophie Axford-Hawkins shows bespoke jewelery that follows an identical theme.

The Jake-OF Debut UK Solo Show
Austin Gallery

119A Bethnal Green Road,
Shoreditch London E2 7DG
Running from the 3rd-16th September.
The opening evening is on the 3rd at 6:30pm.

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Featuring a collection of his best print, sculpture and instillation work from the past four years. The show will include prints from the Quink series and the first original Quink painting to be exhibited.

So Long Utopia
East Gallery
214 Brick Lane
?London ?E1 6SA

Until 2nd September

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EASTGALLERY is proud to present the first solo exhibition of UK artist Sichi. ‘So Long Utopia’ will feature a thematic collection of new paintings and drawings. ??‘So Long Utopia’ is an energetic exhibition focusing on the theme of the lost Utopian dream. The artworks in this collection are of portraits, statements and imagined characters, where any premonition of ‘Utopia’ is quickly dispelled by the creatures inhabiting Sichi’s dystopian world.

Art In Mind
The Brick Lane Gallery
196 Brick Lane,
London E1 6SA

Opening 19 August 6:30 – 8:30
20th – 31st August
Free

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A busy August Bank holiday weekend is almost upon us, dosage and if you cant make it to Climate Camp starting on Wednesday there is plenty of other events to keep you occupied this week.

Festival of The Tree 2009

Delve into the world of wood and trees with sculptors, workshops, walks, art exhibitions and more with all proceeds going to treeaid, a charity that is enabling communities in Africa’s drylands to fight poverty and become self-reliant, while improving the environment. Weston Arboretum has a week long run of activities, with the organisers calling it a radical transformation from last year with exciting new additions.

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Check the full programme of events here.
From Monday 24 – Monday 31 August… 
Open daily from 9am-5pm?Admission: Adult £8, Concession £7, Child £3.?

Camp for Climate Action

A week long event kicking of this wednesday with with a public co-ordinated swoop on a secret location within the M25, make sure you sign up for text alerts and watch Amelias twitter for updates. Join your swoop group here, the locations have been revealed so get planning your route.
Check the great list of workshops here, and get ready for some climate action.
There’s workshops to suit everyone from direct action training to consensus decision making for kids, as well as evening entertainment from the Mystery Jets among others. Come along for a day or the whole week.

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Wednesday 26 Aug 2009 to Wednesday 02 Sep 2009
E-mail: info@climatecamp.org.uk
Website: www.climatecamp.org.uk

Carshalton Environmental Fair

The Environmental Fair is one of the biggest events in the London Borough of Sutton. 10,000 people attend with over 100 stalls with environmental information, arts and local crafts, with stages showcasing local musical talent, a Music cafe and a Performing Arts Marquee. Food stalls and a bar thats also showcasing some local talent. There is a free bus operating from Sutton.

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Adults £3, concessions £1 and kids get in free.
Monday 31st August
Contact: fair@ecolocal.org.uk
Website: http://www.ecolocal.org.uk/

Green Fayre

Range of Green craft workshops where you can learn about the most pressing environmental issues and how you can live a more sustainable life, all set in the Welsh country side. Yurt making, permaculture design, spinning, screen printing, pole lathe, bird box making, cooking from the hedgerows and much more.

Date: Friday 28 Aug 2009 to Monday 31 Aug 2009
Weekend Camping for the family £40?E-mail: info@green-fayre.org
?Website: www.green-fayre.org

Benefit gig for Anarchists Against the Wall

At RampART social centre, music with Hello Bastards, Battle Of Wolf 359,Suckinim Baenaim (Israel), Julith Krishum (Germany). The AWW group works in cooperation with Palestinians in a joint popular struggle against the occupation.

Monday 24 August 2009 19:00
RampARTSocial Centre?15 -17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA?(near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)

London Critical Mass

Cyclists get together to take control of the roads around London usually with a sound system in tow. The London Mass meets at 6.00pm on the last Friday of every month on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge, by the National Film Theatre. critical_mass.gif
Not got a bike, dont worry, any self propelled people from skateboarders, rollerbladers to wheelchairs are welcome.

Friday 28 August 2009
Website: http://www.criticalmasslondon.org.uk/
Earth First Gathering 2009 was held over last weekend. It’s an event we’ve been looking forward to since it appeared in our diary back in July. Check out our Earth First preview for more information. We all pitched up our tents in the wettest place in Britain which unluckily lived up to its name, doctor but although it didn’t feel like summer it didn’t stop any of the numerous workshops from going ahead and there was even a handy barn where people could take refuge if their tents didn’t survive the downpours.

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There were chances for people to get to grips with water activities like building rafts and kayaking on the nearby Derwent lake, help plenty of discussion groups and chances for people to learn new skills. A forge kept many enthralled, viagra me included, and it was great to see the dying trade in action and people learning from the experienced blacksmiths.

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Seeds for change, a group that holds workshops for action and social change, were down at the camp, get in touch with them if you’re thinking of holding your own event and they will be willing to facilitate a range of engaging talks and discussions.
Tripod, a Scottish based training collective working with grassroots and community groups is another to check out – there is plenty to benefit from with training and support that gears towards social action.

Earth First has been going for decades and with direct action at the heart of what they do, it has helped and nurtured many to get involved and start taking action themselves rather than relying on leaders and governments. Look out for the next gathering, as EF notes, “if you believe action speaks louder than words, then Earth First is for you.”
We legged it up the amazing waterfall that created a great backdrop to the camp before tea one evening to get some great views over the valley.

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Joining the queue for our meals was a daily highlight, you could browse the radical bookstall along it that had numerous zines and books for sale. Then the food, put on by the Anarchist Teapot, was amazing and i was queueing up for seconds at every opportunity. Evening entertainment was put on by a ramshackle group of poets and musicians and hecklers, and sock wrestling was also a new experience for me, got to try that one again.

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On cue the heavens opened on the last night, but I managed to get my tent down and joined the chickens in the barn where I literally hit the hay.
Just thought I’d say well done to the police FIT team who were able to navigate the windy and tricky road to turn up most days: good effort!
The Legion in Old Street has undergone a bit of a refurb since the last time I was there. Vague recollections of dodgy sauna-style wood panelling on the walls and a Lilliputian stage awkwardly occupying one corner are now banished by what seemed like an even longer bar than was there before. The venue has had a fresh wave of new promoters which appears to have progressed it from a jack of all things club-based, website like this in an area drowning in the like, there to somewhere incorporating a broader musical palette. A case in point tonight, being the headline band, Death Cigarettes.

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I’d seen Death Cigarettes a couple of times around various East London venues over the last twelve months. For a band whose reputation is in part founded on an explosive live show, the cavernous confines of the Legion seemed to take some of the sting out of them, compared to more intimate settings.

Musically, they inhabit that driving New York No Wave inspired sound – thrashing guitars, pounding drums and rumbling bass coupled with urgently delivered vocals. An obvious comparison is with early Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and there is certainly more than a touch of Karen O in enigmatic lead singer Maya.

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With this band though, the music is only half the story. Coming on unusually late for a Sunday night, Maya emerges from the encaves of a slightly startled audience to take the stage to join the rest of the band as they thrash away around her. It’s not long though before she heads back out into the throng… One group of people were ensnared by her mic lead, another was treated to an intimate introduction with a flying mic stand before Maya suddenly reappears behind the audience, exhorting the crowd before her from atop a table. At this point, the guitarist also wanted a piece of the audience action and decides to go walkabout, before concluding the set with a piece of probably not premeditated Auto-Destruction, reducing his guitar to matchwood.

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Death Cigarettes have certainly been making a few noises of late, with the likes of Artrocker and The Fly singing their praises, and they are set to appear at the Offset Festival (new guitar permitting). For a band with a distinct approach to their music and performance, it will be interesting to see if they will, over time, develop their sound to the same extent that NYC steadfasts, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, have so spectacularly done.
Liberty prints have become something of a British Institution in the fashion world, cialis 40mg inspiring the current vintage scarf and headband trend as well as influencing designers to include whimsical prints in their own creations (basically everybody on the high street). Prints conjure up an image of refined country values, thumb and have a truly English feel to them, stomach reminding us of our grannies chicly riding their bicycles in winding country lanes after World War 2 (maybe that’s just my overactive imagination!)

Until 2nd September an entire exhibition is being dedicated to this quintessentially British item on the fourth floor of the London Liberty store, and Amelia’s Magazine think you should get in touch with your inner fifties housewife and check it out!

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Aptly entitled Prints Charming, the designs at Liberty’s exhibition certainly do what they say on the tin. Six designers were invited to contribute to the show to create their own unique take on Liberty’s iconic prints. Designs span from the pottery artist Grayson Perry’s enigmatic creations featuring tombstones, teddy bears, knuckle-dusters, swings, roundabouts and bicycles mounted on fabric, to uber-famous Meg Matthews’ teeny floral print wallpaper pieces given an injection of rock and roll heritage (like Meg herself) with snakeskin and skulls motifs. Other artists involved with the project include Paul Morrison, Mike McInnerney, Michael Angove, Anj Smith and Simon Hart, each taking an individual and modern approach to the eponymous Liberty print.

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The exhibition reads like a piece of installation art. In fact, art aside there is much more happening. Take note of the furniture and décor (mirrors, chairs, chandeliers and tables) coated in Liberty prints, heavily featured throughout the window display designed by Interiors company Squint. Not forgetting that the store’s entire exterior is decorated in the Betsy micro-floral print. The show also includes full size dolls dressed in Liberty rags, a Wendy house covered in strips of print by artist Helen Benigson, and vintage bicycles by classic bike-maker Skeppshult redesigned with a Liberty twist (complete with feather headdress!)

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(Image from: fashion-stylist)

Being an exhibition, the history of the iconic print is thrown in for good measure too. Documentation of the label’s historic collaborations can be found throughout, featuring modern legends such as Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, APC, NIKE and Kate Moss for Topshop. This is an art-fashion collaborative experience not to be missed!

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Everything designed is available to buy; whether that be in fabric, notebook, scarf, luggage tag, boxer short, wellie boot or lampshade form! With the endless list of talent involved, there’s no doubt something to catch anyone’s magpie eye. Several prints are one-off pieces made especially for the show, such as Matthews’ wallpaper, therefore ensuring a chance of grabbing a piece of history in the making. And who doesn’t love a bit of print patterning? After all, with the current revival of all things retro, Liberty prints are up there with shoulder padding and acid wash in fashionistas’ hearts! So get down to the exhibition before the opportunity to soak up the artistic atmosphere disappears (like most the stock will be sure to do!)
Swap shops, ampoule Freeshops, generic give away shops, visit this site they all aim to go against the capitalist framework, and often people can’t quite get their heads around the idea, that, yes it is free and you can take it!

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Illustrations by Thereza Rowe

When I dropped by the free shop near Brick Lane, I received firsthand experience of this when a woman asked the way to the ‘trendy’ Shoreditch area and when invited to look around the Freeshop declined with a shrug of the shoulders. It appears it just wasn’t hip enough, that or she couldn’t quite comprehend the idea of a piece of clothing for under 50 quid.

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When speaking to some of the squatters, the Freeshop felt like an organic progression from the original squat in the building: “The idea of this Freeshop had come out from a series of workshops held in the squatted building last month. Originally, the building was opened up for a free school, and when that was over we realised we had this shop front on Commercial Street and felt it would be interesting to kind of undermine the shops down the road.” Donations from friends helped to get it off its feet and now they seem to be undated with more than enough.

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With our ‘throw away society,’ Freeshops can form direct action and can engage people to think about the way they live and consume. They also see it as a chance to try and engage with the community, which means the squatters don’t get isolated in the neighborhood. They also feel the shop was an important medium of communication to people. It seems to be working well with most people having a chat or picking up leaflets when they come in to look around. The basic idea is that it should not just be about taking things, but sharing ideas too.

The squatters make efforts to engage with the community, with flyers sent out when they set up shop. Although the state has rigid bureaucratic rules to follow regarding squats they hope that support from the community will help their cause. The court date regarding an impending eviction is on 28th August, but they are hopefully looking to get it adjourned. Signatures and people giving support certainly can’t hinder their defense.

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As well as offering clothes, shoes and household items, the Freeshop also has space for regular workshops and events where members of the community and network can get involved. A wind turbine course is in the pipeline so make sure you drop in to check when it’s happening.

I had a chat with one of the squatters to get a better insight into the ideas and experiences behind the Freeshop.

Have you had any experiences of Freeshops before you came here?

Berlin, Barcelona, Bristol all have set up freeshops and there are plenty more around the world. One time in Barcelona went down the main commercial road with a stall, loads of people came to pick up stuff, completely ignoring the chain stores. It was like people were just interested in consuming products wherever they came from. The cops were called of course.

Can you get moved on for that?

Maybe, I mean, but look at the number of people selling sausages in the centre of town – it depends on how big or moveable the stand is. We had the idea of maybe setting something up down in Hanbury Street, just at Spitalfields Market, but that’s just an idea so far.

What kind of people do you get coming in?

Some homeless people come in and others, how shall we say, are like the kind of people who go down Brick Lane on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. There’s a really broad range.

Can people get involved in the Freeshop?

Come along to say hello or to the meeting on Tuesdays, that’s a good place to start, talk about and organise things we want to make happen, maybe do a shift in the shop.

Do you look to publicise, and how do people find out about the Freeshop?

There’s a big difference between being on the net and Facebook/social networking, and just relying on old style traditional methods, just by being here, and it works like a shop that people can just come into. It’s good to see how far just traditional ways can get us, and if that works well, then maybe others will do the same. It’s not rocket science, there’s no big intellectual concept behind it, it’s just a free shop.

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Located on Commercial Road at the end of Quaker Street, drop in to pick up some new stuff while it lasts and offer your support.
What was formerly the Lush store in Covent Garden’s main piazza is now host to the exhibition ‘DIY London Seen’, this site a homage to the subjects of the film ‘Beautiful Losers’.

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The film recounts the story of a group of likeable young suburban artists who, approved despite creating work outside the established art system in 1990s NYC, more about very quickly rose to commercially vaunted fame and success.

Their ethos, borne of skateboarding, punk, graffiti and DIY living, was to be an artist without adhering to art history or education. Doing what you love whatever the rest of the world thinks. These artists, Harmony Korine, Ed Templeton, Mark Gonzales, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson, Thomas Campbell, Deanna Templeton, Stephen Powers, Chris Johanson, Mike Mills and the late Margaret Kilgallen were united by the then curator of Alleged Gallery, Aaron Rose, now Director of the film “Beautiful Losers’.

In the 90s, the Beautiful Losers’ work was outsider. In 2009, the art exhibited at DIY London Seen is mainstream commercial fodder that is regularly used for major branding.

However, this fact doesn’t reflect negatively on the spirit of the artists’ work or the exhibition itself. It merely highlights an unprecedented support for the arts (commercial or otherwise) and a vastly adjusted attitude about what it means to be an artist where to be commercial does not mean being a ‘sell-out’.

The space is donated by Covent Garden London, which provides gallery space in the West End to diverse forms of art through part of Covent Garden’s Art Tank movement.

The exhibition is curated by Bakul Patki and Lee Johnson of ‘Watch This Space’. Their previous experience in the commercial and critical art markets spans over ten years and as a result, they know how to put together a good exhibition.

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The private view, replete with canapés filling enough to make a full dinner, was packed mainly with trendy young adults in their 20s and early 30s and a few stylish characters in their 40s. The invitees milled about in the two-storey, three-roomed space, drinking free cider, looking at the art and gathering in pockets outside to chat and smoke.

The exhibition space boasts 52 pieces of mainly original art including a seven foot tall mirror-tiled bear created by 21-year-old Arran Gregory and a lightbulb suspended from the ceiling, revolving on a record as it spins (I kept hoping that the bulb would eventually melt the record but instead the record keeps endlessly spinning).

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There is a lot of illustration and photography of the sort you see around in many galleries in East London and on various advertising paraphernalia and as usual, some of it is good.

What stands out most about the exhibition is how, in a decade and a half, enough has changed so that what might once have been outsider art is now perfectly at home and fully catered for in the bustling centre of one of London’s most well-trafficked areas.

Young artists and older artists, property organisations, the public and the commercial world are a blur, shaking hands in every direction.

Disused property is now the breeding ground for emerging artists and successful commercial art curators are there to provide fully functioning and well-run exhibitions.

Whether the Beautiful Losers were the seminal artists paving the way for opportunities afforded to such artists as those of London Seen or not, they were lucky enough to rise to success. The acceptance of skateboard, graffiti, DIY culture could have come earlier, later or not at all.

London Seen and Beautiful Losers are reminders that in a commercially driven market making art isn’t about how much the public loves, or ignores, what you do. As trends come and go, their message is to never forfeit the ethos of doing what you love whatever the rest of the world thinks. History will always move forward and with it, the randomness of success.

Check out DIY London Seen in Covent Garden until 5th of September at 11, The Market Building, Covent Garden, London WC2 8RF.

Beautiful Losers is now available on DVD from the ICA.

Images courtesy: Joshua Millais (bear) and Watch This Space.

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Are you a budding comic artist? By that I don’t mean stand-up of course, approved but rather someone who fancies themselves as a bit of a comic stripper…

Well, visit this if so you might fancy getting your teeth sunk into this little competition from Ctrl.Alt.Shift.http://www.myspace.com/lightspeedchampion Judged by such luminaries as Dev aka Lightspeed Champion and Paul Gravett – who directs the Comica festival at the uber cool ICA and has authored countless books on comic art – this should be an excellent chance to get your work seen by a wide audience.

All that is required is for you to submit some examples of your work to Ctrl.Alt.Shift. by Friday 25th September.

So what happens then? If your work is picked as the winning entrant you will be asked to interpret a comic script written by Dev, which will then be featured in a 100 page book about corruption in politics and contributed to by all the best names in the world of comics and graphic novels. 5000 copies of the book will be sold in aid of charity and your work will feature in a month long exhibition about political comic art in the Lazerides Gallery in Soho during November.

The suggestion is that you pick as your submission something that is applicable to the theme of the competition (ie. corruption in politics), but bear in mind that the final entrants will be chosen on the basis of their visual flair rather than subject content. You can see the competition flyer below.

This is your chance to have your work included a really great project with a whole host of the best names in comic art. Plus it’s for a really worthwhile cause… Sounds like a great plan to me!

COMICA_A5_FLYER_AW.jpg

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, sales we’re aligned more with uplifting, buy information pills good time folk than gut wrenching, angst-y emo. We just think, why be so sombre? So when an album lands on the doormat like the Mariachi El Bronx‘ new output, well, we couldn’t be happier. Those formerly depressed LA lads in The Bronx, have employed a guitarrón, knocked back a heavy dose of tequila and picked up their maracas to deliver an album that is more Latino fun times than their usual emotional dirge.

mariachi-el-bronx1.jpg

A quick glance over the track listing tells you that they haven’t lifted their mood all that much, as the titles still bemoan tales of ‘Cell Mates’, ‘Litigation’ and ‘Slave Labor.’ Although tracks on this album have been masked by a scrim of vihuela solos, trumpet fanfares and accordion bellowing.

mariachielbronx2.jpg

Mixing traditional music with a hardcore ethos is nothing new – think 90s Finnish folk metal of Finntroll and Moonsorrow – which blend a 6-piece folk band with paganism tales. This combination of Hispanic sounds and wailing of lyrics, such as “The dead can dance if they want romance/All I need is some air” on ‘Quinceniera’, seems to make perfect sense when you consider the Mexican celebration, Day Of The Dead, where they leave out food and gifts for the deceased.

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Despite sounding like the tough LA outfit have gone soft and found God, take a closer listen to tracks like ‘Silver Or Lead’ and you’ll find they’re singing, “Quit asking Jesus for help/Go out and find it yourself.” Rather a rebellious punk rock move, when sung in the musical style of a devoutly Catholic culture.

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El Bronx might not be everyone’s cup of tea (-quila), but it’s a fun, refreshingly, tongue-in-cheek album whose Mexican flight of fancy will have you in the mood for a corona and nachos in no time. I say more bands should get out of their comfort zones and explore new genres like El Bronx have – ¡Arriba!

Grey Gardens is a documentary by Albert and David Maysles on the lives of Big and Little Edie at their East Hampton Mansion of the same name, more about Grey Gardens.
When watching the film, treatment the fashion influence of Little Edie becomes undeniable, ambulance beginning with the 1940′s inspired shoulders and nipped in waist, (an Autumn 2009 trend) to the headscarf held in place by jewellery combination (also seen on recent catwalks) finishing with the 1950′s shaped swimming costume worn during interviews. Not forgetting, it is Little Edie’s stamp, which is all over the luxurious granny chic trend favoured by Mary Kate Olsen and the catwalks in recent seasons. All this is without mentioning her quirky fashion advice!

“Why wear a skirt upside down? You do if your waistline has expanded and you can’t close it at the waist.”

greygardens2.jpg

The fashion community from Marc Jacobs to Ashley Olsen (The Twins are often credited with continuing to have fun and make ‘mistakes’ with fashion) has embraced little Edie’s alternative style and self-expression. Play is inherent in her choice of clothes and embellishment. It is Edie acting as herself that transformed her into a style icon. The film is a credit to Albert and David Maysles skill and compassion as documenters in how they managed to capture the two Edie’s individual spirits. For this reason the film becomes truly special as it replicates on screen their at times complex loving, resenting and co-dependent mother/daughter relationship.

The documentary is peppered with half-told remembrances to make past lives bearable, poignant for Big and Little Edie’s heartbreaking denouncement of each other’s memory. The dialogue throughout the film is often refreshing for their –intentional or unintentional- political philosophical undertones.

Near the start of the film, a five-minute conversation discusses the symbiotic relationship between freedom and support (Little Edie argues the opposite to her mother, saying without support you can’t be free). A prophetic conversation, whose sentiment is applicable to the British Government’s ever increasing reliance on business and continuing refusal to accept the pressure big business places on the climate.

Big Edie: “You can’t get any freedom when you’re supported.”

How can the Government make a rational decision on Climate Change when they build over-familiar relationships with Heathrow BAA and the aviation business?

Big Edie: “When are you going to learn Edie your part of the world?”

Whilst Big Edie’s comment is more of an undertone, this is what I hope the Government will realise this week during the Climate Camp protests. That governments and societies cannot exist without the physical world. We must be accountable for looking after the planet.

The film is beautifully composed enabling Big and Little Edie to have their moments in front of the camera, both alone and together. The film’s editing conveys an idea of a romantic time endlessly passing, though quite still and almost stagnant. It is the perfect fashion moment and Little Edie’s style becomes timeless in it’s absence.
The film watches Little Edie reminisce refuting her life choices, whilst Big Edie forever reminds of how different the past looks as one ages stating, “everyone thinks and feels differently as they get older.”

The documentary records the power struggle between the two women choosing and not choosing their unconventional decaying life style. Within each conversation, the viewer senses that Big Edie is the controlling personality and Little Edie the controlled. The relationship is summarised with the phrase “I didn’t want my child taken away, I would be entirely alone.” The sadness of the film occurs at the references to the stories off stage, which appear to surround the two Edies’ day after day. Forever acting out their parts within their own play. In front of the Maysles camera the endlessly groomed Little Edie becomes a star. Grey Gardens is a celebration of complex relationships and the unique individual, additionally highlighting the frequency at which fashion’s history is plundered to influence catwalk designs today.

See Grey Gardens and Little Edie’s outfits at Rich Mix Cinema as part of the Fashion on Film Season

http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/
Grey Gardens is a documentary by Albert and David Maysles on the lives of Big and Little Edie at their East Hampton Mansion of the same name, case Grey Gardens.
When watching the film, the fashion influence of Little Edie becomes undeniable, beginning with the 1940′s inspired shoulders and nipped in waist, (an Autumn 2009 trend) to the headscarf held in place by jewellery combination (also seen on recent catwalks) finishing with the 1950′s shaped swimming costume worn during interviews. Not forgetting, it is Little Edie’s stamp, which is all over the luxurious granny chic trend favoured by Mary Kate Olsen and the catwalks in recent seasons. All this is without mentioning her quirky fashion advice!

“Why wear a skirt upside down? You do if your waistline has expanded and you can’t close it at the waist.”

greygardens2.jpg

The fashion community from Marc Jacobs to Ashley Olsen (The Twins are often credited with continuing to have fun and make ‘mistakes’ with fashion) has embraced little Edie’s alternative style and self-expression. Play is inherent in her choice of clothes and embellishment. It is Edie acting as herself that transformed her into a style icon. The film is a credit to Albert and David Maysles skill and compassion as documenters in how they managed to capture the two Edie’s individual spirits. For this reason the film becomes truly special as it replicates on screen their at times complex loving, resenting and co-dependent mother/daughter relationship.

The documentary is peppered with half-told remembrances to make past lives bearable, poignant for Big and Little Edie’s heartbreaking denouncement of each other’s memory. The dialogue throughout the film is often refreshing for their –intentional or unintentional- political philosophical undertones.

Near the start of the film, a five-minute conversation discusses the symbiotic relationship between freedom and support (Little Edie argues the opposite to her mother, saying without support you can’t be free). A prophetic conversation, whose sentiment is applicable to the British Government’s ever increasing reliance on business and continuing refusal to accept the pressure big business places on the climate.

Big Edie: “You can’t get any freedom when you’re supported.”

How can the Government make a rational decision on Climate Change when they build over-familiar relationships with Heathrow BAA and the aviation business?

Big Edie: “When are you going to learn Edie your part of the world?”

Whilst Big Edie’s comment is more of an undertone, this is what I hope the Government will realise this week during the Climate Camp protests. That governments and societies cannot exist without the physical world. We must be accountable for looking after the planet.

The film is beautifully composed enabling Big and Little Edie to have their moments in front of the camera, both alone and together. The film’s editing conveys an idea of a romantic time endlessly passing, though quite still and almost stagnant. It is the perfect fashion moment and Little Edie’s style becomes timeless in it’s absence.
The film watches Little Edie reminisce refuting her life choices, whilst Big Edie forever reminds of how different the past looks as one ages stating, “everyone thinks and feels differently as they get older.”

The documentary records the power struggle between the two women choosing and not choosing their unconventional decaying life style. Within each conversation, the viewer senses that Big Edie is the controlling personality and Little Edie the controlled. The relationship is summarised with the phrase “I didn’t want my child taken away, I would be entirely alone.” The sadness of the film occurs at the references to the stories off stage, which appear to surround the two Edies’ day after day. Forever acting out their parts within their own play. In front of the Maysles camera the endlessly groomed Little Edie becomes a star. Grey Gardens is a celebration of complex relationships and the unique individual, additionally highlighting the frequency at which fashion’s history is plundered to influence catwalk designs today.

See Grey Gardens and Little Edie’s outfits at Rich Mix Cinema as part of the Fashion on Film Season

Read more

Amelia’s Magazine | Simeon Farrar, The Great British Summertime: New S/S 2012 Season Preview Interview

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Madi Illustrates
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Madi Illustrates

What began as an ‘art experiment’ by London-based Simeon Farrar has now turned into a successful fashion label; winning not only international acclaim but also the prestigious NEWGEN award three times along the way. Despite being crowned a fashion buyer favourite with stockists such as Liberty in the UK and many more in Paris, Tokyo, and Sydney (to name a few), Simeon hasn’t lost sight of his Fine Art training gained at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. Every collection begins with a philosophical root from which the designs and drawings develop and each one-off piece is then created with Simeon’s trademark dash of humour delivered through experiments with colour and print, done by hand in his Shoreditch studio.

Simeon Farrar
Simeon Farrar, all photographs courtesy of Iroquois PR

As someone who trained as a fine artist, what was it that made you want to turn your hand from canvas and paper to fabric?
I’ve always been into printmaking and I used to use a lot of screen-printing in my paintings. I would load them up with all sorts of images and paint over them to form multiple layers. I started putting some of these images on to t-shirts purely as another surface rather than as fashion. The first t-shirts were so loaded with paint like the canvases that they could never be worn. I got so into this that it soon evolved into fashion.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by JL Illustration
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Jason Lear

As a ‘non-fashion’ person, did you expect to make such a big impression when you first exhibited at London Fashion Week?
Absolutely not. I had no idea what people would think of me. I didn’t even have an order book so I guess I didn’t expect to write any orders. Suddenly I had all these people wanting to order this junk I’d made which I found all a bit weird. It was still an art experiment at that point.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Abi Hall
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Abi Hall

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about being a designer and the way the world of Fashion works?
As an artist you develop a certain degree of snobbery towards anything that isn’t ‘Art’. I can safely say that I have been cleansed of that snobbery after being welcomed so openly into the fashion world. I’ve learned that it’s all a load of rubbish and an artist just does what ever he/she feels is the most honest path for their creativity and it doesn’t need a label to make it valid.

Neon Butterfly Chiffon Maxi
Butterfly Chiffon Maxi

Your ‘Kate Mouse‘ illustration has become a widely recognised and coveted t-shirt graphic. Why do you think it’s had so much success?
For me it was one of those magical moments when an image just works perfectly. I’d drawn the image for a nursery rhyme collection we were doing at the time and I wanted to do Three Blind Mice. So, to name the file on Photoshop I used ‘Kate Mouse’ so I would recognise it. Then it just clicked, like a light bulb coming on above my head. I think it’s been a success for the same reason. It’s not forced or contrived, just simple and genius. There’s been such a demand ever since her birth that she’s featured in every collection since, with various additions. She gets pimped up every season. Except this forthcoming A/W 2012.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Alia Gargum
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Alia Gargum

What personally inspired you to create a ‘Kate Mouse’ t-shirt with Net-A-Porter especially for the Japan Earthquake relief appeal?
Two of my staff are Japanese and they have been with me for years so due to that I feel a certain closeness with Japan. We sell a lot in Japan, and since I began the label the Japanese have been so supportive and loyal to my brand that when the earthquake hit it felt like an opportunity to repay some of that. The Kate Mouse print was our obvious big hitter, so I thought it would make the most money if we offered it for the appeal. We did it by ourselves at first, offering a free t-shirt with every donation to Save The Children. That went very well but as we were paying postage we had to limit it to the UK only. My PR company Iroquois and I approached Net-A-Porter so we could take it further. They were amazing with how they took it up and offered so much percentage of the profit to the appeal. I was very impressed with their instant generosity.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Dana Bocai
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Dana Bocai

Your current S/S 2012 collection not only has your own charming take on the uniquely temperamental British summer through neon colours, raindrop prints and a nod to the new Royalty, but a uniquely feel-good quote that runs throughout. How did the slogan ‘You Are My Silver Lining’ form in your head?
There is always a sense of romance in my collections, and no matter what the theme I always like to bring that in. I like the idea of someone being your Silver Lining. No matter what happens in life there is someone who’s very presence brings with it a sense of hope or a way out of darkness.

Slogan Print Tote with Leather Handles
Slogan Print Tote with Leather Handles

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Alejandra Espino
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Alejandra Espino

What are your favourite colours to print in (at the moment) and why?
I loved using the neon colours in the S/S 2012 collection. I like printing images in neon then overlaying that with a black print and washing it all out so the greys defuse the neon a bit.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Mitika Chohan
Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Mitika Chohan
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Mitika Chohan

What can we expect for A/W 2012 from Simeon Farrar?
For S/S 2012 we had a ghost print that did very well, so I’ve built the next collection round that. So I guess it’s a Haunted House collection. We’ve got lots of ghost drawings, howling wolves, that kind of thing. But, there’s also a romantic side to it. I’ve always been interested in the tragic side of vampires and the sense of undying love that runs through it. So I’ve brought a lot of that in to the collection. And for the first time, NO KATE MOUSE. I didn’t want to cheapen her and put some fangs on her or something. Kate Mouse is dead, you heard it here first.

Cloud Print Tote Bag
Cloud Print Tote Bag

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Simeon Farrar’s current S/S 2012 collection is available to buy in store and online at a variety of stockists, and his forthcoming A/W 2012 collection will be exhibited at Tranoi this March.

Categories ,Abi Hall, ,Alejandra Espino, ,Alia Gargum, ,Autumn/Winter 2012-13, ,british summer, ,canvas, ,Creativity, ,Dana Bocai, ,drawing, ,Fine Art, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Haunted House, ,illustration, ,Iroquois, ,Jason Lear, ,Kate Mouse, ,liberty, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Mitika Chohan, ,Neon, ,Net-A-Porter, ,Newgen, ,painting, ,paris, ,Romance, ,royalty, ,Save The Children, ,screen-printing, ,shoreditch, ,Simeon Farrar, ,Spring/Summer 2012, ,sydney, ,T-shirts, ,tokyo, ,Tranoi, ,University of Creative Arts Farnham, ,Vampires, ,You Are My Silver Lining

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Amelia’s Magazine | Simon Ekrelius: New S/S 2012 Season Interview

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Natalia Nazimek
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Natalia Nazimek.

Simon Ekrelius has been slowly building a reputation for his futuristic yet feminine style. Here’s a peek into his new S/S 2012 collection Bar-Red, page and a chance to find out more about his unique vision.

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson.

What brought you from Sweden to set up your studio in London? 
I first discovered London in 1993 and since then I have been back and forth. My designs work better in London than in Sweden, healing where people are very careful with their wardrobe. In 2002 my partner Tom and I decided to move here and settle down.

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
All photography by Marc Lavoie.

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Sampo Lehtinen
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Sampo Lehtinen.

You have a wonderful way of making futurism seem eminently female and wearable – what inspires you and how do you keep this look fresh each season?  
I’m inspired by many things other than fashion; architecture, painting, sculpture and artistic movements in general. I don’t look at the work of other fashion designers because I can’t help but be affected, which is not good for my creative process. I also tend to avoid fashion magazines, which helps to keep my head clear and enable me to work hard on my feelings for the next season. I decide what I really like and what I feel will work, bearing in mind that it’s easy to go way too crazy and futuristic. It’s important to find the right balance – that’s what fashion is all about.

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Natalia Nazimek
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Natalia Nazimek.

What in particular is the new season’s collection Bar-Red based on and what does the name refer to?
I think that back in 1919 people were maybe experiencing similar things to what we are going through now, so Bar-Red is based on the Bauhaus movement, mainly with regards the geometric forms used in architectural design. I like the way that the Bauhaus integrated different forms in order to construct a new kind of style and I translated this into our time so that the collection is not completely retrospective. Bar-Red is so named because it can also mean Barred. The shape of a Bar is rectangular and the colour Red is the main colour in the collection, plus the words Bar and Red work together perfectly. I used bar-shaped objects in my prints such as cigarettes and there are big chunky arrows pointing at naughty areas or sometimes just away.

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Sampo Lehtinen
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Sampo Lehtinen.

You showed in Ottawa this season which is quite exciting – how did this come about?
I was asked to take part by the organisers of Ottawa Fashion Week and at first I did not even believe they had a fashion week. Plus it was during Paris Fashion Week, which was very awkward. But they wanted me to come so badly that they offered me a very good package, so then I just couldn’t say no, especially since the economy in Europe is so tough now. I met members of the Swedish embassy when I was over there and that was interesting because they want to import more independent Swedish design to Canada.

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius by Gareth A Hopkins
Simon Ekrelius by Gareth A Hopkins.

Will you be showing again in London anytime soon? We loved your last catwalk show with On/Off here. Any London based plans that we can share with readers?
Yes, absolutely, I’m planning to do an exhibition again next season at London Fashion Week. Perhaps I will share space with another designer to see how that goes, and after that I’m sure that I will be back on the catwalk again. But it all depends on the sales I’m afraid…

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Lesley T Spencer
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Lesley T Spencer.

What is your preferred music to listen to when you are working and have you discovered any new musicians or bands recently that we should know about?
I’m just putting together a playlist on Spotify, and it features Grace Jones, Best Coast, Fever Ray, The xx and The Knife. When I am working I sometimes listen to 6 Music, but sadly I don’t have much time to really discover new bands.

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012 - illus
Illustration by Simon Ekrelius.

Your fashion illustrations are beautiful – how do you ensure this side of your work practice stays alive?
I do my illustrations as I go along. I create them in my head and then if I have a pen, some colours and a bit of paper they will come out automatically like a machine. So I will always illustrate as long as I am creatively productive. They are not always pretty – sometimes they are just a few lines that will help me to remember what has come into my head.

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson.

What are your future plans for the Simon Ekrelius brand? 
Aww, this is a difficult one! I think for the moment I just want to get a better relation with buyers abroad and perhaps one boutique here in London to stock Simon Ekrelius exclusively. But then of course it would be great to eventually do my own shows in Paris or London, with high level production so that I can explain my stories properly in all areas. After that I would like to have my own place (to sell from). But first I need to focus on finding buyers.
 

Categories ,6 Music, ,architectural, ,Bar-Red, ,bauhaus, ,Best Coast, ,Buyers, ,Fever Ray, ,Futuristic, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Grace Jones, ,illustration, ,Lesley T Spencer, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Marc Lavoie, ,Milly Jackson, ,Natalia Nazimek, ,onoff, ,Ottawa Fashion Week, ,paris, ,S/S 2012, ,Sampo Lehtinen, ,Simon Ekrelius, ,Spotify, ,Swedish, ,The Knife, ,The XX

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sketch blog of the Truimph Inspiration Awards to kick off London Fashion Week

triumph inspiration awards – hair and makeup – lfw2010 – jenny robins
triumph inspiration awards - hair and makeup - lfw2010 - jenny robinsThis is me pretending to be a fashion blogger – Hi!

Please check out Amelia’s write up of the show which has ace photos of the outfits, here although I’m not sure if I agree with her division of them. Or if your here for catwalk kicks primarily, online feel free to scroll to the bottom of this article, discount where you can see my ace catwalk sketches.

They could tell I was pretending I think; when I arrived at the Triumph Inspiration Awards it was the same time all the waitresses were arriving and they just assumed I was one of them, signed me in and gave me a pass, I very nearly spent the night offering canapés. It’s a fair cop, certainly a role I’m more used to performing. But I’m glad I didn’t because the backstage access organised for bloggers meant I got the opportunity to do some drawing backstage at an epic fashion event. Check out some of these anthropological gems:

triumph inspiration awards - lights - lfw2010 - jenny robinstriumph inspiration awards - spray tan touch up - lfw2010 - jenny robins
As I entered the area set up in the huge industrial space that had been set up for the show (in the decor they chose to accent this rather than disguise it – which worked very well) I heard someone shout “If you’re chicken fillets have been checked you have to go back into hair and makeup! Thank you!” Priceless. Being a model must be a proper weird job.

triumph inspiration awards 3 - models eating - lfw2010 - jenny robins

Some models eating (yes, they do).

It all took me right back to many hours spent needing to be not too far from a toilet in Laos and Thailand in cheap hotels watching Fashion TV for hours on end. I love Fashion TV! (must be said in Scandinavian accent) I managed to speak to and draw 3 of the designers, my interviewing skills were not exactly up there, I asked Isabella Newell if she had anything she would like me to say about her work; “not really”…

triumph inspiration awards - great britain - lfw2010 - jenny robins
She let me draw her though, and told me about her outfit, an honest to goodness Burberry Jacket, and the rest by designers I have not heard of but who are probably very impressive. I was relieved when I asked Austria’s Isolde Mayer where her scalf was from and found it was in the sale at H&M. Her design was one of Amelia’s favourites I think, very elegant and strong.

triumph inspiration awards - Bulgaria - Austria - lfw2010 - jenny robins
I was also fortuitous in speaking to the winner (before we knew he was the winner) Nikolay Bojilov who was really nice and encouraging. I made his nose too big from the pressure. His outfit is really beautiful, it’s conceptual and still wearable. Should have seen it coming. Although I have to say I was rooting for Japan’s super cute bird and flowers design (it wasn’t really done justice on the catwalk, but I did a sketch from the actual garment hanging up backstage – beautiful) or Norway’s cheeky two piece covered in metallic circles and fans with what looked like a retro swimming cap accompaniment.

triumph inspiration awards - japan - lfw2010 - jenny robins

A bit of background: Triumph make loads of underwear and stuff, for the last 3 years they’ve been doing these inspiration awards, looking for exciting stuff from international students in the underwear vein. It’s pretty amazing, they put on all these heats in the different countries to find the winner and bring it all together in the final show. The theme this year is Shape Sensation, since according to the spiel, a major role of underwear is “perfecting” one’s shape. When they invent a pair of shaping long johns that can elongate my legs by 10 inches, I will be first in line, needless to say, it’s a comedy nicety.

But the theme ties in with Triumph’s new line of body shaping wear that is designed to be sexier than your average stomach panel tights or distressing beige girdle. There were 6 models posing in these at the reception and they did look nice. So the theme is a bit of a dual personality. On the one hand Shape Sensation – optimising your figure for the office Christmas party, on the other Shape Sensation – high concept fashion design using bold experimental shapes that distort the figure, like Isabella Newell’s (Great Britain) jutting structural design and Manuel Marte’s (Germany) entry which gives the wearer and insect like dowager hump. Neither of which you’d particularly want to wear under clothing, but that’s obviously not the point. They are exciting and beautiful catwalk designs. It’s for the show, the spectacle, the exploding paint balloons (France’s Sofie Insam’s entry).

I confess I couldn’t quite believe it when I realised the carrying a Sydney Opera House on your back design by Tovah Cottle was actually the entry from Australia! What was the brief at that national heat? Represent a cliché of your nationality? Did it narrowly beat corks swinging from hat and Kylie’s face designs? I’m sorry, it’s a stunning design, but really?

Now, forgive me actual fashion fans, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s not particularly unusual for design competitions to be all about the innovation and crazy cutting edge stuff in the initial stages, but to make sure some actually vaguely commercial wearable stuff gets through so that when it comes to the awarding of the prize including the production deal they are able to pick something that walks the happy line in the middle.

There were some spectacular designs on the catwalk last night, here’s my five second impression drawings I did of them as they came out. They are pretty ace eh? I mention again, for actual photos of the actual outfits please check out Amelia’s write up here.

triumph inspiration awards - catwalk 1 - lfw2010 - jenny robins

triumph inspiration awards - catwalk 2 - lfw2010 - jenny robins

I also did a not particularly great drawing of Adam Garcia, which I am including only because Amelia doesn’t know who he is. He is a tap dancer. I super love the TV show Got to Dance he was the judge on so I’m pre-disposed to approve, he was a bit misogynistic in his comments tho, probably wasn’t really sure what he was doing presenting an fashion award and wanted to make sure everyone knew he definitely wasn’t gay. Who cares? Also. I hate tap. Why spend so much time doing something that is really difficult but looks really easy?

triumph inspiration awards - adam garcia - louise rednap - lfw2010 - jenny robins

Categories ,backstage, ,fashion, ,illustration, ,Isabella Newell, ,Isolde Mayer, ,London Fashion Week, ,Manuel Marte, ,Nikolay Bojilov, ,review, ,Sketch, ,Sofie Insam, ,Tovah Cottle, ,underwear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sorapol ‘Euphoria’ S/S 2013 Catwalk Review

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - illustration 1
Illustrations, sketches and first photograph by Jenny Robins, all other photos courtesy of Pop PR

Sorapol’s S/S 2013 show ‘Euphoria’ was an ecstatic exhibition of excess. Anything less would surely have disappointed the audience, which included a large number of guests in utterly ridiculous outfits: even my view of the shoes from my seat on the floor in front of the photographers (better for sketching) was extreme.

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - front row shoes
I’m sure there were plenty of celebrities from the fashion world present but I am unfortunately rubbish at knowing who they are. Having said that I was pretty excited to spot Ruth Brown of The Voice fame on the front row: much more my kind of celebrity. She was wearing Sorapol’s many tailed creation from his A/W 2012 collection as well, so presumably a fan.

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - frow sketches
Likewise I couldn’t possibly comment on whether any of the creepy masked caricatures portrayed by the catwalk models were based on specific celebrities. The off-her-face-and-sweary model, the twirl-and-flash-your-bum model, the air-kissers and over-the-top posers, the pair of giggling twins who staggered down the runway bouncing off of each other, till faced with the photographers at the end they became suddenly media savvy and struck the right poses. One character beckoned a black t-shirted lackey out of the crowd and into the spotlight, to cojole and then slap.

amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 1
Each look seemed to have a corresponding act, seemingly sending up and/or celebrating the behaviour of privileged London party people. The story in the press release reinforced this, telling us about Catherine, who ‘Sparing no expense in her efforts to quench her thirst for more, tried everything.

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - look 12
amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 5
Luke Worrall walked down the runway wearing (as well as shiny leather hot pants) a hat with his name on and many arrows pointing to it. The majority of the models wore grotesque masks with melting mottled surfaces and painted on eyelashes and lipstick. These were by Achraf Amiri, an illustrator known for his distorted disturbing fashion figures.

amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 11
amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 15
Exhibitionism, excess, celebrity, waste, disgrace, decadence, ideas that were also riffed on in the musical choices (‘we’re all stars now in the dope show’) and the giant sparkly line of cocaine (presumably sand – no-one’s that excessive) down the centre of the catwalk. Presumably the irony was not entirely lost. A grumpy commenter on my first ever fashion write up once told me ‘High fashion and Couture is about Fantasy and creating an artistic vision‘, and Sorapol Chawaphatnakul and Daniel Lismore have certainly achieved that. But what about the clothes? Isn’t that what fashion is supposed to actually be about? Here are my catwalk sketches…

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 1
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 12
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 2
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 3
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 5
A great variety of shapes and colours, a peplum here, a ra-ra there, an orgy of sparkle, brocade, billowing trains and structured corsets, tassels, hotpants, fluorescent platform brogues with giant pompoms on, and big purple hair. All very feminine in a certain way. The sex, drugs and rock and roll mantra was referenced very literally with prints and accessories featuring hundreds of little bicoloured pills, and the final piece, which was a Marylyn Manson-esque gothic dress featuring a double necked electric guitar attached to the front.

amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 18
amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 19
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - puma bike
The clothes were actually great – ridiculous and sublime like the whole event, and not pretending to be anything else. The show started with a jaguar shaped motorbike, and ended with an amazing performance by Vince Kidd (also of The Voice), cigarette in hand, singing The Rolling Stones and swaggering all over the place (this is probably why Ruth was there too I guess). A very excellent excessive sleazy glamorous night out.

Categories ,Achraf Amiri, ,Celebrity, ,Daniel Lismore, ,Euphoria, ,fashion, ,illustration, ,london, ,Luke Worrall, ,Marylyn Manson, ,menswear, ,Pop PR, ,review, ,Ruth Brown, ,S/S 2013, ,Soho, ,Sorapol, ,Sorapol Chawaphatnakul, ,The Voice, ,Vince Kidd, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: James Small


James Small S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson

I arrived at the James Small show pretty early – such is the bonkers London Fashion Week schedule that some shows overlap and then you’re left with huge gaps in your day. I joined the small but perfectly formed queue and waited for a pal to arrive. The show was delayed, prescription I was informed, because of the knock-on effect of late-runners throughout the day. The queue eventually began moving a mere 20 minutes late, and just as we were about to be let in, we were halted by an impossibly gorgeous PR girl. Her colleague came over and whispered ‘Kate’s imminent, we should hold the queue‘. Now, I don’t know if it was the pint I’d just enjoyed or the onset stir-crazy sensation I was experiencing after 6 days of shows, but I started sweating profusely. It couldn’t be, could it? ‘Calm down, Matt’ I internally repeated. It can’t be. She wouldn’t. It might be a code word. It might be Kate Adie.


Kate Moss by Antonia Parker

Eventually, after much discussion, it was decided that we should be allowed in because this mysterious Kate hadn’t yet arrived. We were escorted individually up the grand staircase of the Freemasons Hall, this Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue, and assigned seats on the front row. Seating was heavily policed, and I enjoyed the personal escort, but it was taking bloody ages and another show downstairs was set to take place pretty soon afterwards. Jaime Winstone, looking incredible with a silver grandma up-do and vertiginous heels, entered the room and was seated with little fuss. Now I love Jaime Winstone, but if ‘Kate’ was a codename for Jaime Winstone, I was about to go berserk.


Kate Moss by Claire Kearns


Kate Moss by Gilly Rochester

The personal escort service soon turned into a scrum; somebody had clearly realised that it just wasn’t practical. I let out a huge sigh as I said to my friend ‘Well, Kate clearly isn’t coming.’ ‘What?’ my friend replied, ‘she’s over there!’ I turned to my left to study the front row. Somehow I had missed the arrival of Meg Matthews, Sadie Frost, Annabelle Neilson, James Brown, Jamie Hince and… Kate Moss. Kate FREAKIN’ Moss!


All photography by Matt Bramford

There was little fuss as I struggled to fight the urge to jump out of my seat, leap across the catwalk, gather Kate up in my arms and force her to take my hand in marriage. It all happened so quickly, and of course, now Kate had arrived, the show must go on.


James Small S/S 2012 by Gabriel Ayala

It was tricky to concentrate on the show knowing that My Kate was mere feet away, but being the consummate professional that I am, I took up my camera and started to study the clothes, being carefully to take a picture of Kate in between each look. The fashion on offer was actually great, and I don’t know why I was thinking that it might not be. The secondary venue at Fashion Scout is actually much nicer – a dark wood arch divides the old stone room, dark wood lines the floor and majestic chandeliers hover above the revellers. Models appear almost out of nowhere. You do lose sight of the models as they bound through the arch, unfortunately, but this ensured enough time to snap Kate excessively.


James Small S/S 2012 by Sam Parr

Hysteria mounted thanks to the special guests: Kate and her entourage whooped and cheered every look and wolf-whistled translucent shirts, which sent roars of laughter through the room. Last season’s sharp tailoring continued this time around, but had been given a more casual feel for the discerning gentleman who manages to looking devastatingly cool without any real effort during the summer months.


James Small S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson

Small’s mainstay silk shirts had been jazzed up with the aforementioned translucency, and romantic florals with an air of Liberty were the most aesthetically appealing pieces in the collection, particularly a shirt/shorts combination with identical print. I’m not sure I’d get away with it, but the model did with aplomb.

Small‘s sharp tailoring was dressed down with white ankle-high sports socks and Vans in varying colours – when I read this on the press release I wasn’t so sure about it, but seeing it in the flesh allowed it to make sense. Rich colours: plum and royal blue, and luxe materials: silk and velvet, made this collection Small‘s most sophisticated yet. Retaining an edge above his competitors with leopard print and camouflage short shorts, it’s Small’s sharp cuts and sophisticated tailoring that really set him above the rest. That and his stellar front row, of course.

Categories ,Annabelle Neilson, ,Antonia Parker, ,catwalk, ,Claire Kearns, ,combat, ,fashion, ,Floral prints, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Front Row, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gilly Rochester, ,illustration, ,James Brown, ,James Small, ,Jamie Hince, ,Kate Moss, ,Leopard Print, ,liberty, ,London Fashion Week, ,Meg Matthews, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,Milly Jackson, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Sadie Frost, ,Sam Parr, ,Silks, ,tailoring, ,The Kills, ,Translucent, ,Vans, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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